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Patrushev Delivers Putin's Letter to Obama

WASHINGTON — Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has handed over a letter from President Vladimir Putin to U.S. President Barack Obama, the Russian Embassy in Washington said.

The letter is a response to Obama's message that U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon brought to Moscow in April. Obama's message has not been made public, but Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said last month that it contained a number of proposals to deepen bilateral dialogue and cooperation, including on missile defense, and to expand economic ties.

"Nikolai Patrushev has delivered Vladimir Putin's reply to the U.S. president, which outlines his vision of the current state and prospects of bilateral relations in various areas," the embassy said in a statement.

Patrushev is currently on an official visit to the U.S. Obama briefly joined a meeting between Patrushev and Donilon in Washington on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Omaba reaffirmed his desire to strengthen relations with Russia and said he was looking forward to seeing Putin at the Group of Eight summit in June.

"The president reaffirmed his desire to strengthen the bilateral relationship, including U.S.-Russian economic ties," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

Obama and Patrushev "also discussed the importance of deepening counterterrorism cooperation and the need for a negotiated political settlement in Syria," she said.

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