The first meeting between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama will be “exploratory” but will give them an opportunity to start a new relationship, a Kremlin official said.

“We understand that the first meeting of the presidents will be to some extent exploratory. Each side will come with its own priorities, accents and foreign policy vision for the partner,” presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said on Saturday.

“While remaining realists, we are well aware of the contradictions that separate us and do not entertain illusions that they will be easily eliminated,” he said.

“Problems arise all the time between any states, let alone Russia and the United States. The question is not about the ‘sore spots’ but about the algorithm of interstate communication that would make it effective, civilised, constructive and progressive,” the aide said.

The first contact between the presidents of Russia and the U.S. will take place in London on April 1 as part of full-formal direct dialogue covering the entire bilateral agenda.

It will be “some sort of a start-up” meeting at a time when the new U.S. administration is beginning its work and the two countries are “resetting” their relations.

Prikhodko said Medvedev and Obama had already talked with each other by phone on November 8, 2008 and on January 26, 2009. They also exchanged messages. Medvedev’s message was delivered on January 29, and Obama replied ion February 9.