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US-Russian relations improve, Trump seeks areas of cooperation — White House

December 18, 2017, 17:13 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

According to the White House, Trump "is focused on continuing to find areas of cooperation where they can be found while being ever vigilant at protecting America’s interests"

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© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON, December 18. /TASS/. Washington believes that US-Russian relations have improved in the past several months. At the same time, US President Donald Trump continues to seek areas of cooperation, a senior White House official said at a special briefing dedicated to the upcoming unveiling of the new US National Security Strategy.

"The president [Trump] spoke to president Putin on the phone and we issued a readout summarizing the call. This is a great example of cooperation when there is a shared interest. We’ve seen some of that also this year in Syria against ISIS [the Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia - TASS]," the briefing’s host said.

"But we still see a lot of areas where our interests either don’t align or directly conflict," he added.

Nevertheless, in his words, "we’re certainly better off right now then we were several months ago when both the secretary of state and the president marked that the relationship seemed to be at a low point." According to the White House, the US president "is focused on continuing to find areas of cooperation where they can be found while being ever vigilant at protecting America’s interests."

At the same time, according to the information provided at the briefing, the new US National Security Strategy outlines three groups of those challenging Washington. The groups which particularly include revisionist powers allegedly seeking to shape the world through interests and values contradictory to those of the US, rogue nations that spread terrorism, threaten their neighbors and destabilize important regions striving to develop weapons of mass destruction, as well as transnational terror organizations. Russia and China come in the first category, while Iran and North Korea are included in the second one.

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