US President Joe Biden has warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin about election meddling in their first call mainly because counterparts, the White House says.
The conversation included a discussion about the ongoing opposition protests in Russia and an extension of the last remaining US-Russia nuclear arms pact.
Mr Putin congratulated the brand new US president on winning the election, according to a Russian statement.
Both parties said they decided to maintain contact continue.
Former US President Donald Trump sometimes undercut his individual administration's tough posture on Russia and was accused of being too deferential to Mr Putin.
But former President Barack Obama - under whom Mr Biden served as vice-president - was also criticized for failing woefully to check the Kremlin since it annexed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine and muscled in on Syria.
"President Biden made clear that america will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies," a US statement said.
A White House readout of Tuesday afternoon's call said that both presidents also discussed the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack, which includes been blamed on Moscow, reports that the Kremlin put bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, and the poisoning of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
The Kremlin readout of the call did not refer to any points of friction the White House said have been raised by Mr Biden, who has in the past referred to Mr Putin as "a KGB thug".
Russian officials said their president had "noted that the normalisation of relations between Russia and the United States would meet the interests of both countries and - considering their specialized responsibility for maintaining security and stability on the planet - of the complete international community".
"Overall, the conversation between your leaders of Russia and america was of a good business-like and frank nature," the Kremlin statement added.
The two leaders seemed to seal an agreement to renew New Start, an Obama-era accord that limits the amounts of warheads, missiles and launchers in the US-Russian nuclear arsenals.
It was due to expire the following month, and Mr Trump had refused to sign on.