Russian president softened his stance in his state of the nation address, saying I am counting on joining forces with the United States in fight against terrorism

Vladimir Putin has softened his rhetoric about the United States in an annual speech, carrying a desire to mend ties and work together in Syria once Donald Trump takes office.

We are ready to cooperate with the new American administration, the Russian president said in his country of the nation address to an assembly of lawmakers and officials. Its important to normalise and start to develop our bilateral relations on an equal and mutually beneficial basis.

US-Russian ties have been frigid following sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis and support for Syrian rebels opposing Russias ally Bashar al-Assad. But Trump has praised Putins leadership saying it would be nice to work with him to defeat the Islamic State, and in their first dialogue after the election ,~ ATAGEND Putin appeared to emphasise the potential for cooperation.

Putin returned to the theme in his speech on Thursday: Of course I am counting on joining forces with the United States in the fight with the real , not made-up, threat of international terrorism, he said.

He added that thanks to the bombing campaign in Syria, where Russia and Assads forces-out are engaged in a bloody move to take Aleppo, terrorists have been dealt a palpable blow.

A Russian envoy said on Wednesday that Moscow has been in contact with Trumps transition team about Syria.

Putin made a few jibes at his opponents in the west, went on to say that unlike some foreign colleagues, Russia was looking for friends rather than foes. But he was less strident in his criticism than in past address. In 2014, he accused the west of trying to contain and weaken Russia for decades. In 2015, he lashed out at western meddling and regime change in the Middle East.

In this years speech, Putin said the United States and Russia had a shared responsibility to ensure international security and nuclear nonproliferation , noting that attempts to break strategic parity are extremely dangerous. During his campaign, Trump suggested Japan and South Korea should develop nuclear weapon, although he subsequently appeared to backtrack on that statement.

Putin also stressed Russias growing ties with China, holding them up as a model for a global order constructed not on the idea of domination by the different countries , no matter how strong, but on harmonious consideration of all states interests.

Ahead of the hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution next year, Putin warned against similar actions to create schisms, animosity, rancours in the national unity. He said Russia cannot grow with a weak government and a pliant regime directed from outside.

The lions share of the speech was dedicated to domestic issues, with Putin arguing that the economy was gradually arising as a result of recession and sectors like agriculture and IT were growing. He touched on the traditional topic of corruption and said the ruling United Russia party had a special responsibility to represent constituents after winning a constitutional majority in parliament in September. Discussing healthcare, Putin did not mention Russias growing HIV epidemic though Thursday was World Aids Day.

According to popular blogger Ilya Varlamov, the audience burst into applause 15 hours during the 69 -minute speech, the lowest sum of clapping at the state of the nation address since 2005.

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