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MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Putin will meet with President Barack Obama, who arrives in Moscow on his first visit next week, for talks set to focus on persisting trade hurdles, the Russian premier's spokesman said on Thursday.
Obama's summit meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday follows the leaders' pledge to "reset" relations, which plunged to a new Cold War low under the previous U.S. administration.
Speaking on Ekho Moskvy radio, Dmitry Peskov said Putin as premier would focus on trade at his meeting with Obama on Tuesday, but would also share his vision of bilateral ties as former president.
Peskov said bilateral trade and investment have been far below their potential levels. He said accrued U.S. investment in Russia currently stands at $8.5 billion, and the reverse figure at $5.5 billion.
"Naturally, this calls for the government to protect our investors and create incentives for American investors here," Peskov said, adding the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment that restricted trade with the Soviet Union was still in place in the United States.
"If we are to 'reset' something, we cannot ignore such problems," Peskov said.
He said Putin would also want to share his vision of current Russian-U.S. ties, given his "experience of active top-level contacts" as president. "It would be interesting for him to get an idea about the new U.S. leader," he added.
Putin consistently maintained friendly personal ties with Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, which persisted despite strains in bilateral tries, including over arms control, NATO expansion, and U.S. missile defense plans for Europe.
Medvedev and Obama are expected to outline a new arms control treaty to replace the START-1 pact, due to expire in December, and discuss a host of other international issues as part of the "reset" initiative.
Moscow also hopes to link the signing of the treaty to Washington's plans to deploy a missile base in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, which it regards as a security threat.
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