Obama and Putin seek to mend fences in congratulations phone call
US President Barack Obama has congratulated Vladimir Putin on his victory in the Russian presidential election, in a move aimed at improving strained relations, the White House and Russian media reported on Saturday.
"President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed that the successful reset in relations should be built upon during the coming years," the White House said in an official release, DPA reported.
Russian media reported their call had lasted 20 minutes and that Putin, who currently holds the office of prime minister, had touched on sensitive issues such as the US missile defence shield in Europe and differences on the Syrian conflict.
Washington has also been critical of the conduct of Sunday's elections in Russia, while Putin has accused the United States of meddling in Russian affairs through financial support for the opposition.
The White House said Obama had highlighted achievements in bilateral relations over the past three years, including cooperation on Afghanistan, the conclusion and ratification of arms agreements, Russia's recent invitation to join the World Trade Organization and cooperation on Iran.
Obama also said he looked forward to hosting Putin at the Group of Eight May summit at Camp David, the presidential country retreat.
The two leaders had agreed to continue discussions on areas of difference, including Syria and missile defense, the White House said.