What's at Stake in U.S.-Russia Summit Today

President Medvedev pays a visit to the White House

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is in the U.S. this week to promote the country's economic interests. He meets on Thursday with President Obama to discuss U.S.-Russia business ties. Here are the goals for Obama, for Medvedev, and yes, for Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

  • Phase Two of U.S.-Russia Reset  The Washington Post's Michael Shear reports that "the two countries [will] explore closer business ties and seek greater cooperation on the fate of the global economy." He writes, "That reset began early in Obama's administration, but it focused largely on security, including containment of Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions, and development of a new U.S.-Russian nuclear arms treaty. With cooperation on those issues largely achieved, administration officials say they are now ready to turn to the economy, which has mostly taken a back seat to the hot-button security concerns."
  • Obama Evaluating Cost-Benefit of Russia Ties  Newsweek's Owen Matthews writes, "After a decade of being at loggerheads, Moscow and Washington have found common ground on a raft of core issues, from sanctions on Iran to missile defense of Europe and a de facto halt to NATO expansion in Russia’s backyard. The problem, though, is that all this good will has been bought almost exclusively at Obama’s expense." Matthews notes this has come at significant cost, but says Obama thinks it's been worthwhile so far. Matthews agrees.
  • Medvedev Wants a Russian Silicon Valley  The Moscow Times' Esther Dyson writes, "Is it possible to build a Silicon Valley in Russia? With President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Silicon Valley on Wednesday and his ambitious plans to build 'Innovation City' in Skolkovo, just outside of Moscow, this is the question that so many people are asking. ... Right now, the Russian Silicon Valley project is still very much a mystery." Dyson lists six requirements to make this plan come true.
  • All Part of Russia's Struggle to Join Modern Democratic West  The New Atlanticist's Robert Manning explores "the renewed interest in foreign investment as a catalyst for modernization," calling it "one of a number of intriguing developments that point to something of a shift – if not a reset – of the Russian way of doing business. ... It was Dostoevsky who wrote that Russia was regarded as European by Asians and as Asiatic by Europeans. Now it seems Russia is starting to lean toward identifying with Western modernity." The country wants to join the modernized, democratic West, but Manning says significant hurdles, such as domestic political restrictions, stand in Russia's way.
  • Steve Jobs May Get His iPhone Back  The Moscow Times' Natalya Krainova writes, "President Dmitry Medvedev become the first Russian owner of an iPhone 4 after Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented him with the new smartphone an hour before it went on sale in the United States on Wednesday. But the president may not be entitled to keep the gadget for himself. Government officials are only allowed to accept presents that cost less than 3,000 rubles ($100), and iPhone 4 pre-orders in Russian online shops range from 85,000 to 95,000 rubles ($2,700 to $3,000)."
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