U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a plenary session during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Beijing, November 11, 2014. (REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)
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U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has been working behind the scenes for months to forge a new working relationship with Russia, despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in repairing relations with Washington or halting his aggression in neighboring Ukraine.This month, Obama's National Security Council finished an extensive and comprehensive review of U.S policy toward Russia that included dozens of meetings and input from the State Department, Defense Department and several other agencies, according to three senior administration officials. The White House called on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to discuss having him call Putin directly, according to two officials.Kerry has been the point man on dealing with Russia because his close relationship with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov represents the last remaining functional diplomatic channel between Washington and Moscow. Obama and Putin, on the other hand, are known to have an intense dislike for each other and very rarely speak.Kerry has seemed more enthusiastic about mending ties with Russia than Obama himself.
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