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Putin to Biden: “I’m Ready for Contacts and Cooperation with You”

Putin Biden

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Moscow, 15 Dec (EFE).

Russian President Vladimir Putin finally congratulated Democrat Joe Biden today on his victory in the U.S. presidential elections of last November and expressed his hope that, despite their differences, the two countries can cooperate to solve many problems facing the world.

The Russian leader, one of the last to congratulate Biden, wanted to wait until the Electoral College confirmed the Democrat as president-elect on Monday.

“For my part I am ready for interaction and have contacts with you,” Putin said in his congratulatory telegram published by the Kremlin, which on more than one occasion has referred to the poor state of relations in recent years between the two countries.

“Damaged relations cannot be damaged. They are already damaged,” said the Russian President himself last November on the television show “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin.”

In his telegram, Putin wishes Biden every success and expresses confidence that “Russia and the U.S., which have a special responsibility for global security and stability, can, despite their differences, really contribute to solving many problems and challenges facing the world today.”

The Russian President noted that with this in mind, American-Russian cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual respect “would serve the interests of the peoples of both countries and the entire international community,” according to the Kremlin.

Putin has expressed the hope that Biden’s position on arms control will be an important element for “possible future interaction.”

On February 5th, the only nuclear arms reduction agreement in force between the two powers, START III or New START, expires without the two countries having been able to agree on an extension or to negotiate new terms.

Last October, Putin proposed to extend the treaty for one year without conditions, but without mentioning the possibility of a mutual freeze of the nuclear arsenal as required by the U.S., although later the Foreign Ministry clarified that Moscow is prepared to take this step for twelve months if the nuclear arms reduction pact is extended for the same period.

Russian experts believe that Biden’s arrival in power will not improve relations between Moscow and Washington, which are at their worst since the Cold War.

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