Russian President Putin sends New Year's greetings to President Obama

McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 31, 2013 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued New Year's greetings to President Barack Obama, saying his government is interested in strengthening US-Russian relations.

The message to Obama was one of several to world leaders posted on the Kremlin website. U.S.-Russian relations have been strained over Moscow's decision to grant temporary asylum to former government contractor Edward Snowden, as well as the conflict in Syria.

The two countries do cooperate on counter terrorism issues and the Obama administration endorsed a Russian proposal to contain chemical weapons in Syria.

Putin in his greetings to Obama said he "emphasised that the events of the past year clearly demonstrated how, acting in the spirit of partnership and on the basis of respecting one another, Russia and the United States are capable of making a real input into supporting global stability, resolving some of the most difficult international problems."

And the Kremlin said Putin "confirmed his desire to maintain a constructive dialogue and continue joint work to strengthen trust and mutual understanding in Russian-US relations, to broaden cooperation in the economic, science and technology, cultural, and other areas."

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