Optimism for Ties With U.S.

President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that he was "moderately optimistic" about relations with the United States, saying the Kremlin was prepared to work with whoever succeeds U.S. President George W. Bush.

Medvedev said Moscow and Washington must cooperate to maintain global stability -- even if their views on U.S. plans to install missile-defense sites in Europe and other security issues differ sharply.

"Russia and the United States are destined to cooperate on a wide range of international issues," Medvedev said at a media congress in Moscow. "We will work with any U.S. administration; there is no alternative to that. Our nations carry enormous responsibility for global order and maintaining peace and stability."

Russian-U.S. relations have been strained over Washington's plans to deploy missile-defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic and backing for plans to incorporate Ukraine and Georgia.

Medvedev said Wednesday that despite their differences, Russia and the United States have worked together successfully on combating terrorism and weapons proliferation, and on other issues.

"No matter who comes to the White House, Russia expects a constructive and friendly dialogue with a new U.S. administration," Medvedev said. "I view our relations with moderate optimism."

Medvedev said in a speech last week that further NATO expansion east would ruin Russia's relations with the West.