U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has been charting 2014 priorities in relations between Russia and America.
The envoy said accords on Iran's nuclear programme, a peace settlement in Syria, Afghanistan issues amid coalition forces' withdrawal, trade and economic relations and a possible meeting between the two presidents were high on the agenda for next year.
As for the U.S. embassy in Russia, its primary issue in the near future would be the Sochi Olympics, the diplomat told Russian daily Kommersant.
The first step on Iran had been made but Russia-U.S. cooperation in the first half of 2014 would be of crucial importance, McFaul said. Syria followed in significance ahead of the Geneva-2 peace conference scheduled for January 22 in Montreux, Switzerland. This was another indication of successful Russia-U.S. cooperation.
Afghanistan was the third issue of importance, with discussion of plans and cooperation on this track rating priority, he said, followed by the need for greater emphasis on economic relations.
The U.S. knew nothing of President Putin's plans to atend the nuclear security summit in The Hague in March next year but this would be an opportunity for the two presidents to meet, McFaul said, adding that he hoped they would also meet at the G8 summit in Sochi on June 3-4.
It was early to discuss details but the Obama-Putin encounter in St. Petersburg had shown the two leaders could achieve considerable results together.