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  Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is to meet his U.S. counterpart Barack
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is to meet his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on Wednesday on the sidelines of a G20 summit in London aimed at finding ways to tackle the global financial crisis.

The summit officially begins on Wednesday evening at a reception at Buckingham Palace. However, Medvedev and Obama are set to meet for the first time earlier in the day.

Medvedev arrived in London from Berlin, where he held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He is also due to meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday.

The Russian and U.S. leaders will look to "reset" relations that have been tested in recent years by NATO's eastward expansion, Washington's plans for a missile shield in Central Europe and last August's war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.

The two presidents are expected to issue joint declarations on bilateral relations and strategic arms reduction. The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-I) expires in December and Moscow and Washington are expected to resume talks on a follow-up.

Medvedev said in an article published in The Washington Post on Tuesday that "I agree with President Obama that resuming the disarmament process should become our immediate priority." He also said that, "Neither Russia nor the United States can tolerate drift and indifference in our relations."

Russia presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko earlier told journalists that the meeting would be a chance for the two presidents to "synchronize their watches." However, he also said that there should be no "illusions" that the differences between the two countries would be easy to resolve.

Medvedev also told the Washington Post, "We should also think together of whether it might be expedient to introduce a world supranational reserve currency, potentially under the aegis of the International Monetary Fund."

Russia earlier put forward a proposal for the G20 summit which would see the IMF examining the possibilities of creating a supranational reserve currency, and also prompting national banks and international financial institutions to diversify their foreign currency reserves.

Obama has said however that he sees no need for the creation of a new global reserve currency.

The G20 summit brings together the leaders of developed and emerging economies, as well as international financial institutions, and is a follow-up to an emergency summit held in November in Washington.

Security is high in the British capital for the summit. Protests involving anti-globalization activists and environmental campaigners are expected to focus on the Bank of England. A Stop the War march is also planned to the U.S. embassy.


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