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Putin Hails Cooperation In New Year's Greeting To Obama

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama exchange greetings prior to the first session of a G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 5.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a New Year's greeting to U.S. President Barack Obama saying that Moscow is determined to pursue constructive relations with the United States, Russian media report.

The Kremlin press service said Putin cited Russian-U.S. cooperation during 2013 as having contributed to global stability and in resolving the "most complicated international problems."

He expressed hope that bilateral relations would continue to improve.

Relations have been strained by differences over a European missile-defense shield, the conflict in Syria, fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, and human rights concerns.

Putin also sent New Year's messages to other world leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Russia is set to host the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in February.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax