MOSCOW, July 16 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday to thank the Russian leader for his integral role in reaching nuclear deal with Iran.
Both governments' press releases described the tone of the phone call as encouraging, and the Kremlin press service specifically deemed the conversation "constructive."
"Indeed, such conversations do not remove disputable issues and cannot do so. Nevertheless, they are at least rather useful from the point of view of demonstration of the preparedness to resolve disputable issues by way of dialogue, which is definitely satisfying," the Kremlin press service said in the statement as reported by Russia Beyond the Headlines.
Putin and Obama jointly praised the results of the Vienna negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, which has been described by some observers as a "historic" breakthrough.
"The political-diplomatic approach to solving the problem has prevailed, one that Russia had always defended," the Kremlin's Foreign Ministry said.
"The world has breathed a sigh of relief," President Putin said Wednesday.
Obama had previously said in an interview on Tuesday that he was "pleasantly surprised" by Putin's assistance in clinching the Iranian nuclear deal.
"Russia was a help on this. I'll be honest with you. I was not sure given the strong difference we are having with Russia right now around Ukraine, whether this would sustain itself. Putin and the Russian government compartmentalized on this in a way that surprised me, and we would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia's willingness to stick with us and the other P5-plus members in insisting on a strong deal."
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Russia has become more strained in recent months, largely due to the Ukrainian crisis and the Syrian Civil War. The Edward Snowden affair also worsened matters when Russia granted political asylum to the former NSA contractor wanted for theft of U.S. government property and espionage.