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Putin Tells New U.S. Envoy Ties Must Be Based On Equality

The new U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Tefft
The new U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Tefft

President Vladimir Putin says that Russia is ready for cooperation with the United States as long as Washington treats Moscow as an equal, respects its interests, and refrains from interfering in its affairs.

Putin spoke November 19 at a Kremlin ceremony during which he received the credentials of foreign envoys including John Tefft, the new U.S. ambassador to Moscow.

Putin said, "We are ready for practical cooperation with our American partners in various fields, based on the principles of respect for each other's interests, equal rights, and noninterference in internal matters."

The remark echoed a formula Putin set out in a foreign policy decree at the start of his third term in 2012.

Tefft, 64, is a career diplomat who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania.

His posting starts at a time when ties are badly strained over the Ukraine crisis.

Tefft replaces Michael McFaul, who was ambassador from January 2012 until February 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS