Obama Putin
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow in July 2009. Reuters

US-Russian relations started 2014 on a bright note as Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his American counterpart Barack Obama New Year's well wishes after a year of ups and downs in 2013.

"The President of Russia emphasised that the events of the past year clearly demonstrated how, acting in the spirit of partnership and on the basis of respecting one another, Russia and the United States are capable of making a real input into supporting global stability, resolving some of the most difficult international problems," said a Kremlin summary of Putin's message to Obama.

The Kremlin reported that: "Vladimir Putin also confirmed his desire to maintain a constructive dialogue and continue joint work to strengthen trust and mutual understanding in Russian-US relations, to broaden cooperation in the economic, science and technology, cultural, and other areas."

The pair have been at odds with each other over a number of different issues in 2013. Russia decided to grant NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum while Obama criticised Russia's anti-gay laws in the run up the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014.

However, American officials recently extended an olive branch, after a number of blasts struck Volgograd, by offering to assist with the security of the Sochi Olympics, despite Obama avoiding an appearance at the games.

"The US government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators and other participants," National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said.

The Kremlin website also details the ex-KGB agent's New Year's greetings to 27 other world leaders as well as former heads of state including George Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Putin also gave special mention to Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych following the Kiev riots, hoping "to seek ways to further develop partnership ties between the two nations."