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Medvedev Says He Sees Chance For Better U.S. Ties

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

ZHEVSK, Russia (Reuters) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he saw new opportunities for improving strained relations with the United States once President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

"In the current situation new, good opportunities are opening up," Medvedev told reporters in the Urals city of Izhevsk. "I hope the new administration, the new president of the United States, will look at many things from a new point of view."

Relations between Moscow and Washington sank this year to a low not seen since the end of the Cold War over August's conflict between Russian and Georgia and U.S. plans to install a new missile shield in Europe.

Moscow blames the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush for encouraging Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in his bid to retake the pro-Russian separatist region of South Ossetia, prompting a massive Russian response.

And just hours after Obama gave his acceptance speech in Chicago after winning the U.S. presidential election in early November, Medvedev threatened to deploy Iskander tactical missiles to Russia's most westerly region close to Poland.

Medvedev then made positive comments about Obama in Washington on November 15 that he reiterated in his latest remarks.

"Now certainly, there are problems with the current administration. It is, first of all, a crisis of confidence... In the current situation, new positive possibilities are being opened up. We're committed to cooperation," said Medvedev.

"A lot in the world depends on our relations. I have the feeling that it is possible to add good, positive changes to our relations," Medvedev said.