Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for better relations between Russia and the United States in a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama on the U.S. Independence Day holiday.
Putin expressed hope in his message Friday that the currently strained relations between the two nations will develop on a "pragmatic and equal foundation" despite their differences. The Russian president said the two nations carry special responsibility for safeguarding international stability and security, and should therefore cooperate in the interests of the entire world.
Relations between Washington and Moscow have been at a low not seen since the Cold War since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula earlier this year.
The U.S. and its European allies have curbed diplomatic cooperation with Russia and introduced sanctions in response to the annexation. The United States and the European Union have threatened to enact more sanctions aimed at ending Moscow's support for pro-Russian separatists inside Ukraine's borders.