Skip to main content

Putin wishes Obama happy July Fourth, calls for closer ties

By Laura Smith-Spark and Alla Eshchenko, CNN
updated 10:58 AM EDT, Fri July 4, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russia's Vladimir Putin says he wants to see the "successful development" of the relationship
  • He says U.S.-Russia relations should be based on mutual respect and understanding
  • Ukraine crisis has heightened tensions between Russia and the United States

Moscow (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he hoped for better ties with the United States in a July Fourth message to his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama.

The Independence Day wishes come at a time when relations between the two nations are at their lowest ebb since the Cold War, fueled by tensions over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

According to the Kremlin website, Putin "expressed a hope for the successful development of the relationship between both countries, based on equal rights and utilitarianism, despite all the difficulties and disagreements they are facing at the moment."

Putin also said that since the two nations are responsible for global security, they "should cooperate in the interests of not just their own people, but the entire world."

He urged the building of a bilateral relationship based on "mutual respect" and understanding of each other's interests.

Poroshenko says he's ready for peace deal
Clinton: I made a connection with Putin
Putin, Obama face to face in France

Moscow has repeatedly complained that the West has not taken its legitimate interests in Ukraine into consideration or treated it as an equal partner.

The White House gave a muted response to Putin's gesture.

"We've seen the message but have no particular comment," said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

The United States and European Union have imposed targeted economic sanctions on Russian individuals and companies in response to Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March despite condemnation from the West. Its amassing of troops along the border with Ukraine has led to heightened tensions.

The EU and the United States have repeatedly warned Moscow that more economic sanctions could be imposed if it doesn't act to defuse the crisis.

In a bid to end the pro-Russia separatist unrest roiling the east of his country, Ukraine's new President Petro Poroshenko has proposed a peace plan that calls for the rebels to lay down their arms and engage in talks. He also urged the strengthening of Ukraine-Russia border controls, the freeing of hostages and changes to the Ukrainian Constitution to decentralize power.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Moscow last week "to create conditions for the implementation of the peace plan, to end its support for separatist troops, and to stop the flow of weapons and fighters across its border."

Read: Obama, Putin come face to face in France at D-Day event

Read: Ukraine begins military offensive as cease-fire ends

CNN's Alla Eshchenko reported from Moscow, and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. CNN's Athena Jones contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN how they were kidnapped and says no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him since his release.
updated 5:12 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 6:16 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT