Putin hopes for 'pragmatic cooperation' in New Year's telegram to Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin
(Image credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his hopes for better U.S.-Russia relations in his annual letter to the White House, sent by telegram, timed for New Year's Eve. The note to President Trump emphasizes Putin's desire for "pragmatic cooperation" between Moscow and Washington on the basis of "equality and mutual respect." A "constructive Russian-American dialogue is especially needed to strengthen strategic stability in the world," Putin said.

He also wrote to other world leaders, including France's Emmanuel Macron, Syria's Bashar al-Assad, and China's Xi Jinping, describing China and Russia as "two neighborly peoples" and calling for a trusting relationship between Beijing and Moscow.

This time last year, the Obama administration had just imposed new sanctions on Moscow in reaction to election meddling attempts. In response, Putin sent Trump a letter and for Obama issued only a short statement saying he would not retaliate against U.S. diplomats in Russia. "It is a pity that the Obama administration ends his term in such a way," Putin said, "but, nevertheless, I wish him and his family a Happy New Year."

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.