December 18, 2012 / 10:44 AM / 5 years ago

Russia expects Obama visit despite "mini-crisis" in ties

U.S. President Barack Obama looks down as he walks from the rostrum after speaking at a vigil held at Newtown High School for families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut December 16, 2012.Kevin Lamarque

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is likely to visit Russia in the first half of 2013 despite a "mini-crisis" in relations over U.S. moves to punish Russians accused of rights violations, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Yuri Ushakov, a foreign policy adviser to President Vladimir Putin, gave no further details. Obama and Putin have both signalled since winning presidential elections this year that they want an improvement in U.S.-Russian ties.

Reporting Alexei Anishchuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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