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U.S. to work with whoever becomes Russia's new presiden

(Xinhua)

10:57, September 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The United States looks forward to working with whoever is the next president in Russia as their close cooperation serves the interests of both countries and the world, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday.

"We, for our part, look forward to working with whoever is the next president because we believe clearly that it's in the mutual interest of the United States and Russia and the world that we do work closely together," Toner said at a regular press briefing, in response to a question about suggested role swap between Russia's top leaders.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he would run for president in 2012 and suggested President Dmitry Medvedev should become prime minister after the elections.

"This is a matter for the Russian people. Who is Russia's next democratically elected leader is a matter for the Russian people to decide," Toner said. "Regardless of who wins the next election, our priorities remain the same."

He denied that U.S.' gesture is an endorsement of the Russian politics.

The U.S. believes that its reset in relations with Russia has been in the "best interest" of both nations and indeed the world, and Putin in his current role has been part of the reset efforts, said the spokesman.

"And, you know, we're going to continue to cooperate with Russia in areas where we can cooperate constructively," Toner added. "Looking forward, we want to try to resume missile defense cooperation, and we're also seeking to finalize Russia's accession to the WTO (World Trade Organization). These are going to remain priorities for us."

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