Moscow: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has congratulated Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin on his return to office and said that he looks forward to continued engagement and constructive dialogue.

In a telephone conversation with Putin, Rasmussen "emphasised NATO's commitment, and his own personal commitment, to working with the president-elect to establish a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia", the organisation said in a statement.

Rasmussen noted the successes that the NATO-Russia cooperation has produced over the last decade, especially in Afghanistan, counter-narcotics and counter-piracy.

He expressed hope that it would be possible to move forward on cooperation on missile defence, as "such cooperation would benefit both NATO and Russia".

"President-elect Putin underlined his commitment to good, stable relations with NATO," the statement said."The secretary general thanked him (Putin) for his frankness and constructive approach. The secretary general and president-elect agreed to meet bilaterally in the not too distant future," it added.