Jul 04, 2014
By Jane Brown
On this 4th of July, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told U.S. President Barack Obama in an Independence Day message that he hopes the countries can improve relations.
In a statement published on the Kremlin website today, Putin says “regardless of difficulties and disagreements” he hopes that Russia and the U.S. could “successfully develop relations on pragmatic and equal grounds.”
Relations between Russia and the U.S. have deteriorated because of the crisis in Ukraine. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea region of Crimea in March and a conflict between pro-Russian insurgents and Ukrainian military forces has claimed over 400 lives.
The United States, along with other western nations including Canada, have imposed sanctions on some of Putin’s associates, and has threatened to take further action.
(The Associated Press)