MOSCOW - Russia's President-elect Vladimir Putin is ready to go far in developing ties between Russia and the United States provided the relationship is equal, Interfax news agency quoted Putin's foreign policy aide as saying on Saturday.
Putin discussed bilateral relations at a closed-door meeting with US President Barack Obama's top security aide Tom Donilon at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Friday, three days before his inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin.
"Putin emphasized that in developing the relationship with the United States, Russia is ready to go really far, on condition that the Americans will act on the principles of an equal and mutually respectful partnership," Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying.
Ushakov said Donilon handed Putin a letter from Obama, calling it "a multi-page detailed document, whose main message is that Obama is ready to cooperate with Putin in order to move forward on the path of the creation of partnership between the United States and Russia".
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov and the US embassy in Russia declined to comment on the meeting.