Telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama 2013-03-01 20:30:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama on the American side’s initiative. The Presidents engaged in a detail discussion on issues of bilateral cooperation, as well as a range of current international problems. Their discussion was constructive in nature. The two leaders stressed the fundamental significance of the cooperation between Russia and the United States in assuring stability throughout the world. Both sides expressed readiness to work actively on developing mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in all areas. Vladimir Putin highlighted the importance of increasing trade and economic ties, whose levels do not correspond to the two nations’ potential. The two Presidents agreed to work closely on hot-button international topics pertaining to Syria, the Middle East peace process, Iran, North Korea, and ballistic missile defence plans. In discussing the Syrian crisis, the President of Russia noted the need to rapidly bring an end to hostilities. The leaders instructed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry to continue active contacts and to focus on developing possible new initiatives aimed at a political settlement of the crisis. The two leaders expressed a common desire to avoid any steps that could impact negatively on their bilateral relations. Vladimir Putin reaffirmed his invitation for Barack Obama to come to Russia on an official visit. The two sides came to an agreement that the Presidents would have a bilateral meeting during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.