MOSCOW - US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin agreed during telephone talks Tuesday to move relations forward following a tense year-long diplomatic spell, the Kremlin said. “The presidents confirmed their desire to advance bilateral relations in all areas, including the economic component,” Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. Peskov said Obama had also accepted Putin’s invitation to pay an official visit to Russia. Russia had been hoping to set up such a meeting in Moscow for several months. But the Kremlin spokesman said no firm date had yet been agreed for Obama’s trip.
Obama “confirmed his readiness to make a trip to Russia in the future, after the dates are firmly agreed through diplomatic channels,” Peskov was quoted as saying. The conversation was the first between the two leaders since Obama’s November 6 re-election to a second term. Putin himself returned to the Kremlin in March after completing two terms between 2000 and 2008.