MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday congratulated his US counterpart Barack Obama on Independence Day and said Russia and the US share the responsibility of protecting global security and stability, and should cooperate to the benefit of the world.
“Russia and the United States, being the powers with special responsibility to ensure global stability and security, should cooperate to benefit not only the interests of their people, but the whole world,” Putin said, according to the official statement.
The Russian leader expressed hope that relations between Moscow and Washington will develop despite the current difficulties.
American-Russian relations have deteriorated due to the crisis in Ukraine. The US has blamed Russia for fomenting tensions in the country, though Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the issue.
The US has imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies, lobbied the EU to do the same, and threatened Moscow with tougher restrictive measures targeting key sectors of Russian economy.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has labelled the measures counterproductive and warned of the boomerang effect they might have.
Independence Day is observed annually in the United States on July 4, celebrating the anniversary of the publication of the US Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776.