Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday sought closer ties with the United States, saying friendly relations between the two countries was essential for global stability. In his state-of-the-nation address, Putin said Moscow and Washington shared “responsibility for ensuring global security and stability” as well as ensuring nuclear non-proliferation, AP reported.
Russia sought a “friendly and equal” dialogue on global issues with the West despite the country being accused of aggression and “meddling in elections”, Putin said. He expressed his government’s intention to work with US president-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration “to normalise and begin to develop bilateral relations on an equal and mutually beneficial basis”, reported The New York Times.
“More and more fractures and conflicts on political, ethnic, religious and social grounds are rising,” the Russian president said in reference to the rise of anti-establishment and populist movements around the world. “We don’t want a confrontation with anyone,” he said.
Relations between the US and Russia have deteriorated in recent years, with Washington accusing Moscow of aggression in Crimea as well as hacking the servers of the Democratic Party’s National Committee. Washington and the European Union have also accused Russia of providing financial and military resources to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. The two countries are also on opposite sides of the Syrian civil war, with the US supporting rebel groups fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Russia.