When President Obama assumed office in January 2009, one of the many facets of his ambitious agenda was to "press the reset button" on relations with Russia. A year and a half later, the U.S. appears to have indeed pressed that button, and is seemingly on the path to forging the sort of closer relations with Russia that have eluded the president's predecessors. Obama and his Russian counterpart, President Dmitry Medvedev reportedly have a great deal of personal affinity for one another, so all eyes are on Medvedev as he visits the U.S. this week.
Medvedev is in Silicon Valley today, after accepting Obama's invitation to travel to the United States for the first time. The Russian president is here to drum up support for expanded investment and trade between the two nations as he seeks to create Russian center of high tech innovation equivalent to Silicon Valley. Visits to Apple, Google, Cisco, and Twitter are all on his itinerary.
In addition to the focus on opening new economic avenues, the two presidents are also expected to discuss the recently signed START nuclear arms reduction treaty when they meet tomorrow at the White House.
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes is observing Medvedev's trip from Moscow. He says Medvedev is trying to raise his profile over that of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is still seen as Russia's puppet master by most international observers.
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