Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone with U.S. President George W. Bush Monday, discussing plans for their meeting next month before the Group of 8 major industrialized nations summit, the Kremlin said.
The phone conversation was the second the two leaders have had this month, as preparations for the St. Petersburg summit intensify.
Bush is slated to pay a working visit to Russia on the eve of the July 15-17 summit to hold one-on-one meetings with Putin.
The Kremlin said the two "continued to exchange opinions on preparations for the Russian-American summit... Also discussed were separate international problems and tasks in the sphere of bilateral relations."
Their meeting will be the first since November, when they met on the sidelines of a regional conference in South Korea. There has been a notable souring of Russian-U.S. ties in recent months.
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney recently accused Putin's government of rolling back democracy inside the country and strong-arming its ex-Soviet neighbors.
Russia, for its part, has accused the United States of foot-dragging in negotiations on Moscow's accession to the World Trade Organization, reports AP.
The United States does not recognize the entry of Ukrainian territories into Russia. Such a development will seriously complicate prospects for a diplomatic settlement