U.S. official to convey Obama's message to Putin in late January - Kommersant Daily

U.S. President Barack Obama will send his National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon to Moscow in late January to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday.

"At the end of January, shortly after Barack Obama is sworn in, National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon will come to Moscow with a special mission. The U.S. president's envoy is expected to meet with Vladimir Putin. The guest should convey a message from the U.S. president to the Russian leader," the newspaper said.

Only Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul will be present at the meeting, Kommersant said, adding that it was not aware of the contents of the U.S. president's message.

A U.S. diplomatic source, for his part, told the Russian newspaper that Obama is opposed to giving up on the "reset" policy.

The U.S. president thinks that, despite disagreements, the sides ought to look for common ground in order to reverse an ongoing tendency toward a deterioration in Russian-U.S. ties, the source said.

The White House does not view former Soviet soil as a key priority of its foreign policy, he said.

The U.S. plans to pay great attention to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, he said.

If Putin reacts to Obama's message positively, Donilon's trip will become a key stage in laying the groundwork for a visit to Russia by the U.S. president, Kommersant said.

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