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Obama: US, Russia must fight terrorism together

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama leave a dinner at Komi, a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant, in Dupont Circle in Washington , Friday, May 7, 2010. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama leave a dinner at Komi, a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant, in Dupont Circle in Washington , Friday, May 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
By Charles Babington
Associated Press Writer / May 8, 2010

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WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama says he wants greater cooperation between Russia and the United States on economic, security and anti-terrorism matters.

Obama told a Russian television station that no single country can defeat terrorists who have attacked targets throughout the world. He said he looks forward to "increasing cooperation between the United States and Russia" on fighting terrorism.

Obama also said he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have discussed how the two former rivals can "ramp up our commercial, our trade, our economic ties."

"How can we help to promote the innovation agenda in Russia?" Obama said in the interview, which was conducted Thursday in the White House. The transcript was released Saturday. "What are we doing around high-tech industries that can produce jobs and raise standards of livings for both the Russian people and the United States?" he said. "That's an area where I think you're going to see a lot of work and a lot of cooperation."

Obama said he hopes Medvedev will visit high-tech centers such as Silicon Valley when he travels to the United States in late June.

Obama gingerly dealt with the issue of an expanded NATO, a sore subject with Russia as former Soviet states join or seek to join the western alliance. He said is seriously looking at Medvedev's ideas "about a new security architecture in Europe."

However, Obama said, it is important "to work with the institutions we have, to see if we can rebuild the trust that for some time had been lost."

"My sense is, is that all the parties in Europe, all the members of the NATO alliance, want to have a strong, cooperative relationship with Russia," Obama said. He said "core principles" of these relationships include "a respect for territorial integrity of internationally recognized borders; a belief that a country's core sovereignty includes its ability to choose how it allies itself; a rejection of the notion of spheres of influence, whether it's U.S. spheres or European spheres or Russian spheres."

On economic matters, Obama said the government doesn't need to make overt efforts to raise or lower the dollar's value worldwide.

"We have a market-based mechanism for determining the value of currencies," he said. "If we have a strong U.S. economy we're going to have a strong dollar."

As for Greece's economic crisis, Obama said, that country "is taking some very difficult measures. At least they've put forward a plan that calls for difficult measures." He said a stable Europe is good for the United States and Russia.

Obama heaped praise on Medvedev. Neither he nor the interviewer, Sergey Brilev of Channel Rossiya, mentioned Vladimir Putin, Russia's former president and still-powerful prime minister.

"I think he is a strong leader, a good man, very thoughtful," Obama said of Medvedev. "I find it very easy to do business with him, and I think we've established a relationship, a real trust that can be hopefully bearing fruit in the negotiations and conversations that we have in years to come."