Putin Says He Wants to Get on with Trump

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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during his annual state of the nation address at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Putin Gives His Annual State of the Nation Address

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state of the nation message in Moscow, Russia today. During his speech he said he wants to get along with the future U.S. administration. He said he was looking to make friends not enemies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during his annual state of the nation address at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Putin has previously used this speaking opportunity to lash out at the United States. This time, however, he was not nearly as critical. He said, “We don’t want confrontation with anyone. We don’t need it. We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends.” ┬áHe spoke in one of the Kremlin’s grandest halls.

He went on to say, “We are ready to cooperate with the new U.S. administration. We have a shared responsibility to ensure international security.” He also told his listeners that any U.S.-Russia co-operation would need to be mutually beneficial and even-handed. Putin has spoken before that he has hopes the U.S. President-elect Trump may help restore tattered U.S.-Russia relations. Further he indicated he was hoping to find common ground with Washington on fighting global terrorism in particular.

Although his tone was softer Putin still made it clear that Russia would continue to stand up for its own interests. He said that Moscow wanted to independently decide its own fate. He said, “We will build our future without advice from anyone else.”