Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have agreed to try to meet up for face-to-face talks in Germany in the summer.
The two leaders have spoken by telephone on subjects including how to best tackle terrorism and relations with North Korea.
During the discussion, which has been described by the White House as "very good", the presidents agreed that the conflict in Syria has gone on "far too long".
According to the Kremlin, which called the conversation "business-like" and "constructive," the pair said they should step-up diplomatic efforts on the issue.
Moscow said the two leaders agreed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would work towards a ceasefire and a peace process.
The White House said they also talked about the creation of safe zones in Syria - and lined up a possible face-to-face meeting within weeks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.
The phone call was the first time the two men have spoken since the US bombed a Syrian airbase allegedly used to launch a deadly chemical attack.
The attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April killed more than 80 people, many of them children.
Mr Putin condemned America's military response as a "violation of international law," while the White House said the Kremlin's support for Bashar al Assad had sent relations to a "low point".
The pair went on to agree they should work together against Islamic militants in the Middle East.
Sky's US Correspondent Amanda Walker said: "Donald Trump's admiration for Putin during the election was baffling.
"But any Russian hopes of a cosy relationship with the US have evaporated. For now sanctions over Ukraine are still in place and both sides say relations are at a post Cold War low.
"Despite the call being described as 'very good' rapprochement seems a far-off prospect."
Mr Trump's latest positive overtures towards Russia come amid ongoing controversy over alleged collusion between his election campaign team and the Kremlin.
The FBI and congressional committees are investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia as it meddled in the US presidential race.
Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that she was "on the way to winning" the election until "intervening events" in the final days, including the release of hacked emails - which US intelligence officials have blamed on Russia.
Mr Putin has denied claims of Russian interference in foreign polls, while Mr Trump has called the allegations of collusion a "hoax".