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 4:09 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
updated 3:41 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
updated 4:14 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
updated 5:36 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 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