Putin hopes for bet­ter ties with US

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Moscow

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said on Thurs­day that Rus­sia hopes to nor­mal­ize ties with the United States and join ef­forts in the fight against in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism.

Speak­ing in a live state-ofthe-na­tion ad­dress, Putin said that Rus­sia is ready to take part in tack­ling global chal­lenges if its in­ter­ests are re­spected.

“We don’t want con­fronta­tion with any­one,” he said.

“Un­like our for­eign col­leagues who are see­ing Rus­sia as an en­emy, we have never been look­ing for en­e­mies, we need friends,” Putin said. “But we won’t al­low any in­fringe­ment on our in­ter­ests and ne­glect of them.”

Rus­sia’s re­la­tions with the West have plum­meted to a post-Cold War low over the Ukrainian cri­sis and the war in Syria. Dur­ing the US elec­tion cam­paign, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion ac­cused Rus­sia of hack­ing US po­lit­i­cal sites in an ef­fort to in­ter­fere with the vote. The Krem­lin has re­jected the ac­cu­sa­tions.

“In the last few years. we have faced at­tempts of for­eign pres­sure with all tools in­volved from the myths about Rus­sian ag­gres­sion, (al­le­ga­tions) of med­dling in elec­tions to the hound­ing of our ath­letes,” Putin said, re­fer­ring to dop­ing scan­dals.

Putin said that Rus­sia is look­ing for­ward to mend­ing ties with the US af­ter pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump takes of­fice.

“We are ready for co­op­er­a­tion with the new Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he said. “It’s im­por­tant to nor­mal­ize and de­velop our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions on an equal and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial ba­sis. We share re­spon­si­bil­ity for en­sur­ing global se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity.”

Putin added that Moscow hopes to pool ef­forts with Washington in con­fronting in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism.

Putin said that Rus­sia is open to a “friendly and equal di­a­logue” about global se­cu­rity. He pointed to the Euro­pean mi­gra­tion cri­sis as an ex­am­ple of even “seem­ingly pros­per­ous coun­tries and sta­ble re­gions” fac­ing new di­vi­sions.

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