(CNN) - A top Russian official Sunday labeled as "very positive" remarks by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on the Obama administration's stance on major nuclear issues and relations with Russia.
Biden spoke Saturday at a security conference in Munich, Germany. In outlining the new American administration's foreign policy, he told delegates that while the United States will remain firm in defending against nuclear threats, Washington aims to work with Moscow.
Relations became tense between Russia and the United States over a proposed U.S. missile-defense shield with components in in eastern Europe.
In his speech, Biden said, "We will continue to develop missile defenses to counter a growing Iranian capability, provided the technology is proven to work and cost-effective."
But he added, "We will do so in consultation with our NATO allies and Russia."
It was Biden's first major speech as vice-president.
Deputy Russian Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who appeared with Biden for photographers before the two met privately Sunday in Munich, said he found Biden's remarks "very positive - restarting the button" on nuclear issues.
Also Sunday, Biden met privately with Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili.
Asked before the meeting as he appeared with Saakashvili about whether he favors Georgia eventually joining NATO, Biden responded, "I'm in favor of Georgia's continued independence and autonomy. That (NATO membership) is a decision for Georgia to make." Russia invaded the former Soviet republic last August over separatist regions of Georgia which are supported by Moscow.
More than 300 delegates from around the world attended the security conference, the most recent in a series of annual global forums on security policy that began 45 years ago.