The Kremlin Wednesday said President Vladimir Putin has sent Christmas and New Year greetings to President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among other world leaders, McClatchy reported
In his message to Obama, Putin reportedly "emphasized that the events of the past year clearly demonstrated how, acting in the spirit of partnership and on the basis of respecting one another, Russia and the United States are capable of making a real input into supporting global stability, resolving some of the most difficult international problems."
According to the Russian announcement, Putin "confirmed his desire to maintain a constructive dialogue and continue joint work to strengthen trust and mutual understanding in Russian-US relations, to broaden cooperation in the economic, science and technology, cultural, and other areas," McClatchy reported.
Already strained relations between the United States and Russia were exacerbated by Putin's decision to grant asylum to NSA defector Edward Snowden.
Putin also sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Putin's presidential website
, the Russian leader noted "the dynamic development of relations between Russia and Israel in 2013 and the significance of the summit meetings held in Russia that confirmed mutual interest in close cooperation on the issues of bilateral agenda as well as on numerous regional and international issues."
Israel has a large Russian-speaking population.
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