"It is obvious that the new US administration has a very strong desire to change and that inspires optimism."

Earlier, Lavrov described Biden's remarks as "very positive" .

Missile defence row

Relations between Russia and the US were strained in 2008 over US plans to build a missile-defence shield in eastern Europe, which was strongly opposed by the Kremlin.

Biden on Saturday said that Washington was prepared to work towards improved relations with Russia, suggesting that Moscow could be consulted over the defence system. 

Ivanov also indicated that Russia was ready to discuss missile threats with Washington in coming months.

"We do not claim there is no threat, he said. "The question is how we are going to react to the hypothetical threat of the spread of missile technologies." 

"We will listen to each others' opinions and assessments ... ," he said. 

However, he added: "The devil is in the detail, as you know."