President Donald Trump got a holiday message from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who told Trump that his new year hope is for Russia and the United States to build a more constructive dialogue next year. Putin also said that the two countries should develop pragmatic cooperation aimed at long-term perspective on the basis of equality and mutual respect, The Hill reports.
“The development of a constructive Russian-U.S. dialogue is particularly important for strengthening strategic stability in the world and finding the optimal answers to global threats and challenges,” Putin noted.
Ties between Washington and Moscow have been strained over allegations that Russia meddled in last year’s presidential election in the United States. The two presidents spoke several times during this year. Last month, Trump said he would not argue with Putin about the alleged election interference.
“I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine,” Trump said.
A few days ago, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Kremlin, expressed Russia’s worries about a continuing degrading of relations, including the possibility of new U.S. sanctions.
“We don’t want to be in a situation where our bilateral relations, which are already in a rather pitiful state, could face even bigger and possibly unbearable risks and dangers. We have concerns about sanctions, but we don’t know what they will be, since it’s all still discussions that aren’t based on any official information,” Peskov said.