Putin says US-Russian relations can only develop despite disagreements

President Vladimir Putin, in a statement marking U.S. Independence Day, said he was certain relations with the country would progress despite disagreements.

Tension between Washington and Moscow has been growing. The United States has accused Russia of backing away from democratic reforms, and the Kremlin vehemently objects to U.S. plans to deploy elements of a missile-defense system in former Soviet Bloc countries.

"We look with certainty to the future of mutually satisfactory working together. I am sure that, despite known disagreements, which are unavoidable in an open and honest dialogue, the policy of comprehensive development of bilateral ties in all areas will continue," Putin said in the statement, released by the Kremlin while Putin was in Guatemala.