"Where Russia sees its interests as aligned with ours, we can work with them and we will continue to do that," Carter said.
Relations between Moscow and Washington soured in 2014 following Crimea's reunification with Russia and beginning of a military conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
However, the two countries continue to cooperate on a number of issues.
"There are places where they [Russia] are working with us: in counterterrorism <…> with respect to North Korea, in some respects with respect to Iran, and elsewhere," Carter said.
On July 9, then US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Nominee Joseph Dunford said Russia is the greatest national security threat to the United States. The next day US Secretary of State John Kerry argued against his comment stating that the Islamic State is the existential threat to the US safety.