Putin expects progress in Russian-US relations

Vladimir Putin expects the Russian-US relations to be maintained at a high level.

"We hope very much that the [current] line will be maintained by both parties, including the United States," the Russian president said at the meeting with the US secretary of state.

The Russian head of state praised the US state secretary's contribution to promoting the relations between the two countries.

"You directly contributed to bringing the Russian-US relations to the high level they are on now," Putin said. "I am very glad to see you, because you and I have established good relations over the past four years."

"Thank you for sparing time for meeting me. This is my first visit to Russia as US secretary of state," Rice said. "Prior to the US president's arrival in Russia, Mr. Lavrov and I have worked very fruitfully, checking the whole list of issues we had been tasked by the presidents to discuss."

After Putin and Rice exchanged opening addresses, the meeting continued without journalists.

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