Washington wants strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia

President Barack Obama, working to warm U.S. relations with Russia, met for the first time Tuesday with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He told college students that the two countries are not "destined to be antagonists."

"The pursuit of power is no longer a zero-sum game," Obama said, speaking in the Russian capital to graduates of the New Economic School but also hoping to reach the whole nation. "Progress must be shared."

Obama used his speech to further define his view of the United States' place in the world and, specifically, to argue that his country shares compelling interests with Russia, The Associated Press reports.

US President said Washington wants to work in partnership with a "strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia."

"This belief is rooted in our respect for the Russian people, and a shared history between our nations that goes beyond competition," he said, CNN International reports.

Barack Obama has called on Russia to help forge a new global partnership to overcome Cold War mistrust. He also said that freedom of speech and assembly are among universal rights that must be protected and encouraged, euronews reports.