Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a letter to his US counterpart Donald Trump, has said Moscow is ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging agenda”, the Kremlin said.
“Vladimir Putin stressed that the [Russia – United States] relations are the most important factor for providing strategic stability and international security,” a Kremlin statement said on Sunday.
“He confirmed that Russia is open for dialogue with the USA on the most wide-ranging agenda.”
At the end of November, Trump abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina, citing tensions around Russian forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them.
The letter comes days after Trump said he was pulling all 2,000 US troops from Kurdish-held northeastern Syria, declaring that Washington had achieved its objective with the “defeat” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in the region.
Moscow intervened on the side of Syria’s government in 2015, a few years after the conflict began.
In a separate letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Putin pledged the continuation of aid to the Syrian government and people in the “fight against terrorism, in defence of state sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
He also sent New Year’s greetings to other world leaders, including prime ministers Theresa May of Britain and Shinzo Abe of Japan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Putin wished “well-being and prosperity to the British people”, the Kremlin said.
Russia’s embassy in London said on Friday that Moscow and London had agreed to return some staff to their respective embassies after they expelled dozens of diplomats early this year.
Britain had expelled 23 Russian diplomats over accusations the Kremlin was behind a nerve toxin attack in March on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.
Russia, which denies any involvement in the poisoning, sent home the same number of British embassy workers in retaliation.