WASHINGTON The White House said on Saturday it expects to keep making progress in the "reset" of U.S.-Russia relations regardless of who becomes the next Russian president.
"The question of who will be the next Russian president should be for the Russian people to determine," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said after Vladimir Putin declared he planned to reclaim the presidency at March elections, ending speculation on whether he or President Dmitry Medevedev would run.
"While we have had a very strong working relationship with President Medvedev, it's worth noting that Vladimir Putin was prime minister throughout the reset," Vietor said. "We will continue to build on the progress of the reset whoever serves as the next president of Russia, because we believe that it is in the mutual interests of the United States and Russia, and the world."
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick)