‘So correct’: Trump responds to Putin’s holiday letter
President-elect Donald Trump has praised a “very nice” holiday letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressing hope about renewed cooperation between Moscow and Washington after the change in management.
Extending his “warmest Christmas and New Year greetings” to Trump, Putin wrote that “relations between Russia and the US remain an important factor in ensuring stability and security of the modern world,” according to an unofficial translation of the letter made available by the president-elect’s transition team.
“I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able – by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner – to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level,” said the letter, dated December 15.
“A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct,” Trump said Friday, in a statement to reporters accompanying the letter. “I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path.”
The statement comes a day after Trump posted a cryptic tweet advocating that the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” sparking fears of a renewed atomic arms race with Russia.
During the campaign, Trump has repeatedly argued it would be “nice if [US] could get along with Russia,” prompting accusations from his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that he was “Putin’s puppet”. Democrats have also said that “Russian hackers” were responsible for the disclosure of emails both from the party and the private account of Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, which were released by WikiLeaks prior to the November 8 election.