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Russia Hopes Medvedev, Obama Will Set Nuclear Pace

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia hopes a meeting between President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama next month will deliver specific messages on how a new set of nuclear treaty talks can proceed, a Russian official has said.

"We hope that in London we will get concrete instructions on what parameters and to what tempo we should work," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told a news conference.

The two leaders will meet in London on April 1, before the G20 summit the following day.

The two countries have agreed to start talks soon on a successor to the START Treaty on nuclear arms reduction that will expire this December.

Ryabkov repeatedly expressed optimism for better ties with the Obama White House than with the Bush administration. Relations were strained over NATO expansion, last year's Georgia war, and a planned U.S. antimissile system.

"We think that on key issues, the differences which existed between the positions of Russia and previous administration will become smaller," Ryabkov said.