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Russia hears 'very strong' signal on US ties: Ivanov

world Updated: Feb 08, 2009 19:04 IST
Russia hears 'very strong' signal on US ties: Ivanov

Russia is hearing a "very strong signal" from the new US administration on improving relations between the two countries, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Sunday.

"The new US administration is sending a very strong signal, and we are hearing it, for restoration of dialogue between the US and Russia," Ivanov said in Germany after talks with US Vice President Joe Biden.

It was the highest-level Russian-US meeting since President Barack Obama succeeded George W. Bush -- under whom ties between Washington and Moscow hit lows unseen since the Cold War -- on January 20.

"There is optimism, cautious optimism," Ivanov said at a press conference following the meeting.

Biden told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday that the United States wanted a "new tone" in its foreign relations and to "reset the button" in ties with Moscow.

Biden also said Washington would only press ahead with its planned missile defence shield -- which has alarmed Moscow -- but only "provided the technology is proven to work and is cost effective."