At last B. Obama congratulated V. Putin

U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on his presidential election victory in a telephone call on Friday. RIA Novosti writes about this referring to a Putin aide.

This is the first time the two men have spoken since Putin won the presidential election in a landslide on Sunday.

Obama told Putin he is ready to “work closely” with the Russian president-elect, Yury Ushakov, a foreign affairs aide to Putin said.

“The telephone conversation was informal and wholly substantive in nature and lasted about 20 minutes,” Ushakov said.

Two presidents have also expressed willingness to hold a summit meeting in the near future and agreed to maintain contact with each other until they do meet.

Putin and Obama agreed that criticism of each other made in the heat of election campaigns should not be allowed to become obstacles in bilateral relations.

Putin stressed the importance of Russian-U.S. relations for global security and Obama expressed the hope “that the positive trends in bilateral relations seen in the last few years will continue,” the aide said.

Putin also wished Obama luck in his White House re-election campaign.

The White House said in a statement the two leaders also discussed cooperation on Afghanistan, the conclusion and ratification of the START agreement, Russia’s recent invitation to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and cooperation on Iran. They also “outlined areas for future cooperation, including strengthening trade and investment relations arising out of Russia’s pending accession to the WTO.”



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