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Putin, Medvedev host US guests
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Russia's outgoing President Vladimir Putin and his successor, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev met on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Kremlin, expecting for development in bilateral ties amid disputes on proposed missile shield.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (L) and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are greeted by incoming Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) before their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow March 17, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo) 

"There are issues on which positions vary, in particular the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and missile defense" and there is still a will to move ahead, said the next Russian head of state who swept to power by a landslide victory in the March 2 election and has pledged to continue Putin's policy.

Rice, for her part, said interaction was the best way to resolve problems and Washington hopes for the development of working contacts with Moscow after Medvedev's investiture in May.

The United States and Russia should develop their relations on the solid foundation they have laid down, Interfax news agency quoted her as saying.

Gates, who showed his broken arm and joked that the injury will make himself an easy negotiator, said the two states could build up the consent they already had and seek consent in issues where differences remain.

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