Kremlin announces plans for joint statement by Medvedev and Obama

Barack Obama, Dmitry MedvedevMoscow - The presidents of Russia and the United States are expected to sign an agreement on strategic offensive weapons on the sidelines of a financial summit in London next week, the Kremlin has announced.

According to the Interfax news agency, citing Kremlin officials, US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will also issue a joint statement about their nations' bilateral relations during their first meeting since Obama's inauguration in January.

The statement will have "practical applications for coming negotiations," said Sergei Prikhodko, an advisor to Medvedev.

The goal is for the two presidents to have a working relationship established when they next meet to consider renewal of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which limits the number of nuclear warheads the two countries can maintain and is set to expire at the end of this year.

Also at the meeting, Medvedev is expected to discuss Russia's concerns about US plans to establish missile defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Obama is expected to renew please for Russian assistance in controlling Iran's attempts at starting a nuclear weapons programme and for military operations in Afghanistan. Concerns about North Korea's nuclear ambitions will also likely be on the agenda. (dpa)