Krishnan here, with apologies for this being a bit late. But I just had to go an interview the Russian ambassador.
From Russia with understandingChannel 4 News' Jon Snow blogs on Mikhail Gorbachev: http://bit.ly/gbekE
Obama and Medvedev have just signed an agreement paving the way for a new Start treaty, signed by the end of the year, to reduce their nuclear warheads by up to a third on previous treaty levels.
Both sides are hailing it as a big step. But any echoes of Reagan-Gorbachev are really just ghosts in the machine. This is an altogether different proposition.
One of the main aims is to simply normalise diplomatic relations from the depths they were at during the Bush years. The ambassador has just been telling me what a difference Obama has made. They listen, he says.
Theres also an important agreement to cooperate over Afghanistan. Russia will let American troops fly over its territory and will allow what it calls "non-lethal" supplies to be transported over land. Its the kind of progress on an international issue that lets them gloss over the real disagreement and that is the US missile shield.
The ambassador has just been explaining to me how nuclear weapons cannot be seen in isolation. The missile shield is an absolutely integral part of how Russia sees progress. Whether that could derail the signing of the treaty, we dont know. But the issue hasnt gone away.