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Obama Says He's Willing to Visit Russia

In a telephone call with President Vladimir Putin, newly re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama said he is willing to visit Russia.

Putin called Obama late Tuesday to wish him success in "forming a new team" and invite him to Russia on an official visit, according to a statement on the Kremlin website.

Obama said he is ready to visit Moscow once diplomatic channels had agreed on a timeframe for the visit, the statement said, adding that the two presidents affirmed their mutual interest in "a consistent development in bilateral relations in all spheres, including the economy."

Putin previously sent a telegram to Obama on Nov. 7, a day after the U.S. election, congratulating him and saying he hoped that Obama would make a trip to Russia.

Meanwhile, two cargo planes carrying Russian humanitarian aid for those suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy landed in New York.

A statement on the Emergency Situations Ministry's website announced that the two Ilyushin-76 aircraft, loaded with blankets and other essentials, arrived in New York at 8:20 a.m. and 8:50 a.m. Moscow time on Monday.

The Emergency Situations Ministry has sent a total of 40 tons of humanitarian aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, which struck the East Coast of the U.S two weeks ago, killing more than 100 people and destroying many homes.

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