GENEVA (AFP) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a mock 'reset' button on Friday as they began their first meeting in Geneva on an upbeat note. Clinton handed Lavrov a block with a red button wrapped in a ribbon marked "reset" in English, as they met, a reference to a speech by new US Vice-President Joe Biden in January signalling that the Obama administration wanted vastly improved ties with Russia. "I would like to present you with a little gift that represents what President Biden and I have been saying and that is: 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 and posed for photographers both holding the plastic button. Instead of using the Russian word for "reset" - perezagruzka, the word was used was "peregruzka," which translated loosely as "overload" or "overcharge", according to Russian speakers. Moscow regards the meeting as an opportunity to set a warmer tone and mark the end of a fraught relationship under the Bush administration. A Russian foreign ministry statement issued Friday said: "We are cautiously optimistic about results of these talks." One of the tasks of the Lavrov-Clinton meeting is "to understand attitudes" to the development of bilateral relations and "to establish personal contacts," it said. The meeting over dinner in Geneva is expected to discuss world tensions, ranging from Afghanistan to a planned US missile shield in Europe and Iran's nuclear programme. It will also lay the ground for the first encounter between US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at a London summit next month. Clinton said in Brussels on Thursday that she hoped to "discuss a wide range of critical matters where we can cooperate and those where we have differences". "I think in some areas we're going to find there's a great potential for cooperation. "In others, we're going to have differences and we will stand our ground and they will stand theirs and we'll hope to find some accommodation if possible," she added. She even indicated earlier this week that she was hopeful about the missile shield dispute, which has led Russia to threaten to point its missiles at Europe. However, Clinton said she would "raise with Russia their continuing discussions with Iran about selling longer-range missiles, which we think are a threat to Russia as well as to Europe and neighbours in the region". Speaking in Brussels on Friday before heading for Geneva, the US Secretary of State also insisted that Washington's engagement with Moscow in no way tempers support for Georgia and the Baltic and Balkan nations. Such countries should "be independent, free, make their own decisions or shape their own course without undue interference from Russia," she said, stressing that "my country strongly condemned Russia's actions in Georgia." Washington was also "very troubled by using energy as a tool of intimidation", she said, referring to the row between Moscow and Kiev which resulted in a two-week halt in Russian gas supplies to Europe in January. Clinton cited the fight against nuclear proliferation and terrorism as areas for cooperation, recalling that Russia is a key member of the international quartet seeking peace in the Middle East, with the United States and European Union, and in the six-party talks on Iran's nuclear ambitions. Obama has ordered a review of planned extensions of the US anti-missile shield into Europe, a project which has angered Russia, but he wants Moscow to help deal with any missile threat from Iran. The United States is seeking to relaunch negotiations on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which expires on December 5, 2009, in a bid to re-establish trust with Russia.