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Putin backs Trump’s intention to mend ties with Russia

December 13, 2016, 11:17 UTC+3 TOKYO

The president says Moscow hopes for the development of cooperation

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© Mikhail Klementiev/Russia's presidential press-service/TASS

TOKYO, December 13. /TASS/. Russia supports the intentions of US president elect Donald J. Trump to improve relations between Moscow and Washington, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Japan’s Nippon TV channel.

"The US President-elect has publicly spoken in favour of normalising Russian-American relations," Putin said.

"We cannot but support this. Of course, we understand that it will not be an easy job, taking into account the degree to which Russian-American relations have degraded. But we are ready to cover our part of the way," Putin said.

"I must admit that we have yet to understand how he will develop his idea, his pledge to make America great again, but I hope this will not hinder the development of our cooperation," the president said. 

"We are ready to meet at any time, this is no problem for us, but I believe we should be patient and wait for the complicated process of forming the new administration to be complete," the Russian president said. "We have to wait for him to take office and form his administration."

Putin recalled that he only had a telephone conversation with Trump, whereas Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with him in person. "So, you should ask the Japanese Prime Minister what impression he has about the newly elected US President," Putin told reporters, noting that it is well known that the US President-elect has publicly spoken in favor of normalizing Russian-American relations.

"We have seen very clearly over these past years that there are quite a few people who are sceptical, or let us put it another way, are cautious about the development of Russian-American relations, but the underlying fundamental interests of the United States and Russia demand that our relations be normalized," the Russian leader said.

Putin also stated that if Russia and the US "had joined efforts some time ago, we could have avoided many problems the world is facing now." "At any rate, those problems would not be so acute, with numerous terror attacks and victims of those attacks in many areas of the world - in Europe and in the United States. We also never would have had such an urgent problem with refugees, I have no doubt about it." Putin added.

"There are also fundamental issues related to what the current leader, President Obama, said," Putin noted. "I am referring to his idea about American exceptionalism. I am skeptical about this idea. No doubt, the United States and the American people are a gear country and a great people. Nobody disputes this, but talking about exceptionalism is way too much, and this is creating certain problems in relations, and not only with Russia, as I see it," the Russian president elaborated.

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