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Clinton hands a reset button to Russia — sort of

Geneva — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to break the ice with her Russian counterpart on Friday by handing him a fake "reset" button — or at least that was what it was supposed to be.

Clinton handed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the button wrapped in a ribbon as they began their first meeting in a luxury hotel in Geneva.

Earlier this year, US Vice President Joe Biden told foreign leaders at an international security conference in Munich, southern Germany, that the Obama administration wanted to improve ties with Moscow.

"It is time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should work together," Biden said.

As she proffered the red plastic button, Clinton told Lavrov: "We want to reset our relationship. And so we will do it together," she said, laughing.

But the button also bore a Russian word that was meant to translate as "reset."

"We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?" Clinton asked Lavrov.

"You got it wrong," he responded as they both laughed.

"It should be ‘perezagrouzka’ (the Russian word for ‘reset’)," the Russian foreign minister pointed out. "This says, Peregruzka, which means overcharged."

"We won’t let you do that to us," Clinton replied.

Russian speakers indicated that the mistaken word was better translated as ‘overload.’

Lavrov promised to keep it on his desk.