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U.S. President-Elect Trump Releases Congratulatory Letter From Putin

  • RFE/RL

A composite photo of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has released what he says is a congratulatory letter from Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in which Putin calls for bringing bilateral collaboration to a "qualitatively new level."

The Trump transition team sent out the letter on December 23, just hours after Putin completed his annual marathon news conference in Moscow.

In the letter, dated December 15, Putin says he hopes Trump will act "in a constructive and pragmatic manner" to improve relations with Moscow.

Putin said he hoped they would "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."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin had sent Trump a congratulatory letter, telling Russian news agencies that Putin had also expressed hope for better relations.

Trump, meanwhile, followed up the letter's release, calling Putin's thoughts "so correct."

"I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path," his statement said.

During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly called for warmer ties with Moscow.

He's also brushed off U.S. intelligence conclusions that Russia-backed hackers attacked U.S. political party computers to help sway the election

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