"A new atmosphere of relations has been created," Lavrov said in London after talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama. "There is mutual interest and, most importantly, readiness to listen to each other, something we had lacked for many years."
"This means a new quality of relations," he said.
In a joint statement issued after their meeting, which took place ahead of the G20 summit on the global economic crisis, the leaders pledged "to move beyond Cold War mentalities and chart a fresh start."
"We today established a substantive agenda for Russia and the United States to be developed over the coming months and years. We are resolved to work together to strengthen strategic stability, international security, and jointly meet contemporary global challenges," the presidents said in a statement.
The sides agreed that the talks had opened up the route to cooperation in nuclear nonproliferation, the fight against terrorism and extremism, resolution of Middle East conflicts, and efforts to improve economic stability.
However, the leaders admitted that crucial differences remain on some issues, in particular Georgia and the U.S. missile shield plans for Central Europe.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.