WASHINGTON — President Bush announced Wednesday that he had accepted an invitation by President Vladimir Putin to visit Russia next week, signaling an effort to avoid a public clash over NATO and missile defenses when Bush travels to Europe next week.

The meeting — expected to take place on April 5 and 6 in Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea — is likely to be the last between them before Putin steps aside as president and is replaced by his protege, Dmitri A. Medvedev.

Medvedev is also likely to attend the meetings for what would be his first substantive discussions with Bush.

Bush's secretaries of state and defense, Condoleezza Rice and Robert M. Gates, went to Moscow this month after the president had sent a letter offering to formalize negotiations on a series of disputed issues.