US-Russia ties most important for international security: Putin tells Trump

12:09 AM | 31 Dec, 2018
US-Russia ties most important for international security: Putin tells Trump
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MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his US counterpart that the relations between Moscow and Washington were most important for international security.

In a new year letter, Putin also expressed that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a 'wide-ranging agenda'.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that [Russia-US] relations are the most important factor for providing strategic stability and international security. He confirmed that  Russia is open for dialogue with the USA on the most wide-ranging agenda,” the Kremlin said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The comments come after US president cancelled a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina in November, in the pretext of tensions about Moscow’s forces opening fire on Ukrainian naval ships and then seizing the vessels.

Trump has been repeatedly accused of not taking a harsh stance against Russia - which many allege was involved in election meddling that propelled Trump to power.

Though Moscow and Washington are in perpetual competition for global influence, they have been at opposite sides on multiple fronts with Syria being the noticeable one.

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Recently when Trump announced to pull out from war-battered Syria, he faced criticism from many quarters which contended that the move would give Russia a major advantage in the strategically important Middle East.

In his message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Putin stressed that Russia will continue to provide 'all-round assistance to the government and people of Syria in their fight against terrorism and efforts to protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity,' the Russian president's office said.

"The Russian leader wished the Syrian people the earliest return to a peaceful and prosperous life," it added.

Putin's message to his U.S. counterpart was released in a summary of greetings to leaders around the world and it underscores that both the countries can find common grounds to work jointly in 2019.