Obama Reaches Out to Russian Media

President Obama is in Moscow today for a two-day summit with top Russian officials and the White House has released a transcript of an interview between the President and Novoya Gazeta – a Russian newspaper known for investigative work in politics.

The interview, published today, discussed the goals of the trip and touched upon the cause of the current economical crisis.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. is not responsible for the world's economic difficulties, contrary to the general opinion of the Russian public.

"We all are experiencing a severe economic crisis that is affecting the lives of many people in countries around the world," Mr. Obama said . "We need to spend less time thinking about who is to blame and more time working together to do what needs to be done to get all of our economies moving in the right direction."

Mr. Obama also discussed his financial regulation reform and the role it plays in the U.S. financial system.

"The plans include three important components," Mr. Obama said. "First, we're proposing a set of reforms to require regulators to look not only at the safety and soundness of individual institutions, but also -- for the first time -- at the stability of the financial system as a whole. Second, we're proposing a new and powerful agency charged with just one job: looking out for ordinary consumers. Third, we're proposing a series of changes designed to promote free and fair markets by closing gaps and overlaps in our regulatory system -- including gaps that exist not just within but between nations."

The president also stated that a free market is the most "powerful generative force for our prosperity" but warned that we must not "ignore the consequences of our actions."

In a July 2 interview with Itar-Tass/Rossiya TV – one of the largest news organizations in Russia – Mr. Obama said that his primary objective for his trip to Russia is to "reset" relations between the two countries. Transcripts of that interview were also released by the White House.

"The main thing that I want to communicate to Russian leadership and the Russian people is America's respect for Russia, that we want to deal as equals," Mr. Obama said. "We are both nuclear superpowers; with that comes special responsibilities that are very different from the positions of many other countries around the world, and we have to handle those responsibilities in a way that encourages peace."

Further sharing his views on Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, Mr. Obama said he has found the leader to be "very thoughtful, forward-looking individual."

And although Obama had not had a chance to meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he acknowledged the immense influence he has over the Russian people and stated his hopes that the two "will get a sense that I'm somebody that they can do business with in an effective way."

Mr. Obama also addressed Russian concerns with U.S. missile systems in Central Europe in his interview with Novoya Gazeta

"We understand Russian sensitivities to this issue and have sent several high-level delegations to Moscow over the last several weeks to engage in a serious dialogue about U.S.-Russian cooperation on missile defense," Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama also expressed the importance Russia plays in creating an international non-proliferation framework.

"Given the unique position the United States and Russia has when it comes to nuclear power, for us to send a strong signal that we want to reduce our stockpiles… would help us internationally," Mr. Obama said.