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Bono, Medvedev Talk Charity Over Tea

Medvedev and Bono walking by the Black Sea at Medvedev’s Bocharov Ruchei residence near Sochi on Tuesday. Mikhail Klimentyev

SOCHI — President Dmitry Medvedev welcomed U2 frontman Bono to tea on Tuesday ahead of the group's first Russian concert, and the Irish musician asked for Russia's help in fighting AIDS.

"Taking care of people is not just what politicians do," self-proclaimed rock music lover Medvedev told Bono, adding that U2's music has united generations of people.

Their meeting on the sun-drenched veranda of Medvedev's summer residence on the Black Sea comes a day before U2 takes to the Moscow stage as part of the group's 360 Degree Tour.

Bono, sporting his trademark sunglasses and single earring, asked Medvedev to find a Russian firm to team up for his "Red" campaign, which raises money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Brands Nike, Microsoft, Apple and Starbucks have sold red products and donated part of the proceeds to the charity.

"Maybe you can find a Russian company, a Red Russian company, it's your color," Bono told Medvedev, an apparent reference to the red flags and stars used by the Soviet Union.

Medvedev said he would think how Russia, which experts say has at least 1 million people infected with HIV, could contribute to the Red brand.

The two men also shared jokes about their tastes in music, with Bono declaring: "I come here to cross the great divide between me, a Led Zeppelin fan, and you, the Deep Purple fan."

Medvedev, who has made much fuss of his devotion to the veteran British hard rock group, chuckled but replied in English that he also counted Led Zeppelin among his favorites.

Bono later said in a statement that he and Medvedev had also discussed corruption as a means to ending poverty.

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