Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to talk…and wishes the world well. In a late December flurry, the Russian leader has sent U.S. President Donald Trump, and other world leaders, Christmas and New Year’s greetings.
In his message to Trump, Putin stressed that “Russian-US relations are a key factor of ensuring strategic stability and international security”. The Russian leader also confirmed Russia’s readiness for dialogue with the US on a wide range of issues. Putin also sent best wishes to former US President George W Bush, stated Russian state news agency TASS.
The main issue concerning the Kremlin seems to be Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared in a televised appearance, “The issue should be addressed to Washington. Both our president and his representatives have said that we are ready for the talks when Washington is ready for it,” reported TASS.
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 also 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. Putin wished “well-being and prosperity to the British people,” the Kremlin said, reported The Moscow Times.