In New Year letter to Trump, Putin says Moscow is open for dialogue

World

The  president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in a New Year letter to his US. counterpart Donald Trump said on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging agenda”, the Kremlin said.

At the end of November, Trump unexpectedly cancelled a planned meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina, citing tensions about Russian forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that the Russia – United States relations are the most important factor for providing strategic stability and international security,” a Kremlin statement said.

“He confirmed that Russia is open for dialogue with the USA on the most wide-ranging agenda.”

In a separate letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Putin pledged continuation of aid to the Syrian government and people in the “fight against terrorism, in defence of state sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Putin additionally sent New Year greetings to other world leaders including prime ministers Theresa May of Britain and Shinzo Abe of Japan, as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping. He wished well-being and prosperity to the British people, the Kremlin said.

The Russian Embassy in London said on Friday that Moscow and London had agreed to return some staff to their respective embassies after dozens of diplomats had been expelled early this year.

23 Russian diplomats were expelled by britain over accusations the Kremlin was behind a nerve toxin attack in March on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.

Russia denied any involvement in the poisoning and sent home the same number of British embassy workers in retaliation.

 

 

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