President Bush has called Russia's new president-elect and has said he hopes to establish a close working relationship that will help them deal with important world issues.

Dmitry Medvedev, the hand-picked successor of Vladimir Putin, won Russia's presidential election with just over 70 percent of vote, according to final preliminary returns.

A White House statement about the telephone call described Bush as saying that he had read with interest recent remarks by Medvedev about personal freedoms, independent media, rule of law and fighting corruption. The statement said that Bush wished Medvedev and his family all the best in the lead up to his inauguration in May.