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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Writes to Bush, Wants Better U.S.-Russia Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin has written to U.S. President George W. Bush congratulating him on his new job and setting out Moscow's views on how to improve bilateral relations, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

It said Putin sent Bush the letter Tuesday and also wrote to the former president, Bill Clinton, to thank him for his good will and readiness to seek compromises when dealing with Russia.

"Putin confirmed his continued willingness to act to deepen interaction between Russia and the United States and jointly to find answers to the serious challenges which confront us and the entire international community in the 21st century," it said.

The Kremlin said Putin had presented his thoughts on "ways to develop Russian-American dialogue further".

It also said Putin had touched on the question of possible summits and other meetings and the agenda for them, but did not elaborate.

Asked for more details on the content of the letter, Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov told Reuters: "We are not going beyond what's in our announcement."

The Kremlin announcement said Putin had noted that recent years had shown "when Russia and the United States act jointly or along parallel lines, it is possible to reach decisions which meet the interests of peace and international stability".

Russia is keen to get down to business with the United States, particularly in the area of arms control, not least because of Bush's stated intention of pressing ahead with a National Missile Defence which Moscow opposes.

But the new Republican administration in Washington is unlikely to jump into talks without a review of where relations stand.

Western diplomats also say Washington is still waiting for more details from Moscow on what its proposed joint, limited theatre missile-defence system might look like.

It would involve intercepting missiles soon after take-off, rather than in mid-flight or close to their intended targets.

Letters from the Kremlin to new U.S. presidents are usually delivered in Washington and typically state Moscow's position on the main questions in bilateral relations. They do not generally break new ground.