Russian President Vladimir Putin called for better relations with the United States on Friday in a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama marking US Independence Day.
Relations are at their lowest ebb in years, soured by disagreements over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and by differences on human rights and democracy. Both are veto-weilding members of the United Nations Security Council.
“The head of the Russian state expressed hope that … ties between the two countries will develop successfully on the basis of pragmatism and equality despite difficulties and disagreements,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
“Vladimir Putin also highlighted that Russia and the United States, as countries carrying exceptional responsibility for safeguarding international stability and security, should cooperate not only in the interests of their own nations but also the whole world,” it said.
The United States has curbed its cooperation with Russia and imposed sanctions on some Russian firms and individuals over Moscow’s role in Ukraine following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine.