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Medvedev Congratulates Obama On 50th Birthday

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama speak outside the White House after a joint news conference in Washington in June 2010.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has telephoned Barack Obama to congratulate the U.S. president on his 50th birthday.

The Kremlin press service said that in the August 3 phone call, Medvedev and Obama also discussed Russia's campaign to win membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the end of this year.

The call comes amid signs that the Obama administration's publicly stated aim of boosting ties with Moscow is flagging, with recent sanctions targeting Russian officials, harsh accusations against the United States from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia's WTO bid, and lingering resentments over missile defense in Europe.

Obama reportedly planned to work this morning before marking his 50th birthday with party for close friends and family at the White House.

Officials said Obama plans to spend the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat near Washington.

compiled from agency reports