Moscow views relations with the US as one of Russia's foreign policy priorities. It was said by the Russian Foreign Ministry's press and information department on Saturday. Prospects for Russian-American relations were discussed on April 13 at an enlarged meeting of the Ministry's board presided over by Igor Ivanov. Speakers indicated that continued mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries meets the long-term interests of Russia and the US, and of the world community as a whole. "Despite initial complications in the dialogue with the new US administration, especially due to a series of unfriendly steps against Russia taken by the American side, certain prerequisites are emerging for constructive and pragmatic development of the Russian-American relations," it is believed in the Foreign Ministry. "The US leadership has come forward for turning over the difficult page and emphasised its interest in positive cooperation between the two countries and in making progress on solving existing problems". This, it was indicated in the Russian Foreign Ministry, fully corresponds to the Russian position. "We are for a full-scale dialogue on issues where our approaches coincide or are close, and a common search for mutually acceptable solutions to existing differences," it was stressed at the Russian Foreign Ministry. Speakers also stated that the strength of the Russian-American relations depends to a large extent on a dramatic improvement of bilateral economic ties, perfection of their mechanisms, expansion of direct contacts between business circles of the two countries, and resolution of all lingering problems in the trade and economic field, including restrictions on the access of Russian goods to the US market. Following the discussion specific steps were outlined on how to develop equal and mutually beneficial relations between Russia and the US in various fields given the cooperative will and full reciprocity on the part of the new American administration. Sergei Prikhodko, deputy chief of the presidential staff, who took part in the board's work on Vladimir Putin's instructions, expressed confidence that top officials of Russia's Foreign Ministry and the entire staff of the ministry would continue to promote successfully and constructively the Russian national interests in the international arena, including in the key American sector of the Russian Federation's foreign policy.
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