U.S., Russia say need spirit of WW2 trust to build ties

MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday their nations need the spirit of mutual trust they enjoyed during World War Two to build true partnership.

The two leaders issued a joint statement marking the 65th anniversary of Soviet troops and their American allies meeting at the Elbe River near the German town of Torgau, a few days before the final defeat of Nazi Germany.

“The atmosphere of mutual trust and shared commitment to victory, which accompanied the historic handshake at the Elbe, is especially called for today when Russia and the United States are building a partnership for the sake of a stable and prosperous world,” said the statement published by the Kremlin.

“We are convinced that, acting in the ‘spirit of the Elbe’ on an equitable and constructive basis, we can successfully tackle any tasks facing our nations and effectively deal with the challenges of the new millennium.”

Obama made a priority of trying to “reset” relations with Moscow that hit a post-Cold War low during Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia.

Earlier this month Russia and the United State signed a landmark nuclear arms reduction pact, a crucial element of Obama’s high-profile push to curtail the global nuclear threat.

Medvedev has said he and Obama have “changed the atmosphere” in Russian-U.S. ties.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Louise Ireland