World

Putin Calls To Repair Relationship With U.S.

| by Lauren Briggs

In an annual state of the nation address on Dec. 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his desire to strengthen ties with the U.S. and work together, though he remained critical of some of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign pledges.

"We don't want confrontation with anyone – we don't need it," Putin told a room full of high-ranking politicians, according to The New York Times. "We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends. But we will not allow anyone to infringe upon or ignore our interests."

Putin, who praised Trump throughout the election and enthusiastically supported him upon his presidential victory, did not explicitly mention the president-elect but did say that Russia is "ready for cooperation with the new U.S. administration" and is "counting on" the U.S. to join Russia in continuing the fight against terrorism.

"It is important to normalize and start developing bilateral relations on equal and mutually beneficial grounds," said Putin, who typically throws verbal jabs at the U.S. government, rather than praising it, during his speeches.

But just because the Russian leader has taken a softer tone with Trump than he did with President Barack Obama does not mean that the pair sees eye to eye on everything.

"Cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in solving global and regional issues is in the interests of the whole world," said Putin, referencing Trump's campaign statements about international nuclear weapons. "We have a shared responsibility to ensure international security and stability to strengthen regimes of nonproliferation [of weapons]."

During his bid for the presidency, Trump called for more countries to possess nuclear weapons, for the U.S. to end the Iran nuclear deal, and for America to bolster its nuclear arsenal. He also said during a presidential debate that he "can't take anything off the table" when it comes to hedging a nuclear attack against North Korea, according to NBC News.

"I would like to emphasize that attempts to break strategic parity are extremely dangerous and can lead to a global catastrophe," Putin said in his speech, according to The Times. "This must not be forgotten for a single second."

Sources: The New York Times, NBC News / Photo credit: MARIAJONER/Wikimedia Commons

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