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Putin: U.S.-Russia Relations Key To Global Stability

Russian President Vladimir Putin says relations between Moscow and Washington are instrumental to ensuring international stability.

Putin said in a congratulatory message to U.S. President Barack Obama on July 4 -- American independence day -- that U.S.-Russian relations were "the key factor in ensuring stability and security in the world, despite the differences" between the two countries.

But he added that the two countries must have a dialogue based on "equality and respect" of each country's interests."

Russia has used increasingly tough rhetoric against Washington since the Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the start of the military conflict in Ukraine in 2014 that has led to Western sanctions against Moscow.

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Putin's security council, said last month that the United States was out to destroy Russia.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS

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