The US president has called Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on winning Russia's presidential election.
The White House said Barack Obama and Putin agreed to build relations between their countries and discuss issues on which the countries differ, such as the Syrian uprising and missile defence.
Putin is currently Russia's prime minister but won his third presidential term on Sunday.
Opposition groups have accused Putin of running a dirty election and intend to hold mass rallies in Moscow and Saint Petersburg on Saturday.
Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips met an opposition leader who believes change is coming, slowly.