'Ice man' Vladimir Putin plays hockey in Red Square

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands on stage during a ceremony to mark the completion of the sea part of the Turk Stream gas pipeline in Istanbul

Putin Tells Trump in New Year's Letter He's Open to Meeting

The summary states the Russian leader wrote: "Russia-US relations are the most important factor behind ensuring strategic stability and global security".

The Kremlin confirmed Putin's note by issuing a statement on Sunday, saying: "In a Christmas and New Year greeting message to President of the United States of America Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia-US relations are the most important factor behind ensuring strategic stability and worldwide security, and reaffirmed that Russia is open to dialogue with the United States on the most extensive agenda".

"He confirmed that Russian Federation is open for dialogue with the United States on the most wide-ranging agenda".

The message to Mr Trump was among dozens of holiday greetings Mr Putin sent to other world leaders, each tailored to reflect a bilateral theme.

The Year of China-Russia Local Cooperation and Exchange programme proceeded smoothly in 2018, and the popular support for friendship from generation to generation between the two peoples has been further consolidated, the Chinese President said.

The State Department announced December 4 that the United States would give Russian Federation 60 days to come into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or the United States would consider the treaty void.

Russian Federation denies that the missile violates the INF Treaty and accuses the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit the treaty in order to develop new missiles. "I think this is a well-justified reason (to play hockey) ahead of the new year", said Mr Putin. Vityaz (Knight) is a short-to mid-range surface-to-air defence missile system developed by Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation.

Putin hailed the "significant potential" of Russia's relations with various countries including Japan, France and Germany, saying that Russian Federation looks forward to continuing constructive dialogue with their leaders and promoting cooperation in various fields.

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