DON EMMERT/MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV/Getty Images
Now playing
01:36
Putin congratulates Trump in statement
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Now playing
02:16
Trump slams probe 'hoax' despite intel warning
Now playing
02:23
Russian pop star trolls Trump in music video (2018)
Trump WH 5
CNN
Trump WH 5
Now playing
01:31
Trump: It is possible I will meet with Putin
Now playing
01:06
Toobin calls Giuliani claim 'corrupt and unethical'
CNN
Now playing
00:54
Giuliani: Stop the possibility of impeachment
Getty Images
Now playing
03:03
GOP members slam Trump's Russia comments
CNN
Now playing
01:38
Giuliani: Trump has right to know FBI source
Now playing
01:21
Trump says 'disgraceful' if FBI spied on campaign
Now playing
01:34
Trump lawyers seek to limit Mueller interview
CNN
Now playing
02:45
Page: Never found anything unusual about FBI source
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08:  Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:08
Comey: Trump won't criticize Putin, even in private
UNTV
Now playing
02:27
Nikki Haley: I don't get confused
US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV        (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:03
Russia reacts to Trump's Syria strike tweets
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:26
US hits Putin allies with new sanctions

Story highlights

Putin said he hoped for "real steps" to restore US-Russia relations under Donald Trump

Putin's New Year's greetings mentioned Trump but not President Barack Obama

(CNN) —  

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump, rather than President Barack Obama, in his annual New Year’s greetings statement to foreign heads of state and government.

However, Putin did convey his seasonal greetings to Obama, his family and the American people in a separate statement earlier Friday, while responding to the latest wave of US sanctions against Russia.

In his annual greetings statement, Putin expressed hope that after Trump is sworn in as US President on January 20, the two countries, “acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner, will be able to take real steps to restore the mechanisms of bilateral cooperation in various areas and take their interaction in the international arena to a whole new level.”

“Major global and regional challenges that our countries have confronted in recent years clearly confirm that Russia-US relations are an important factor in ensuring stability and security in the modern world,” reads Putin’s direct message to Trump, released by the Kremlin on Friday.

Trump: Putin ‘very smart’

Earlier Friday, Putin said Moscow would not expel 35 American diplomats in response to US sanctions against Russia, as had been recommended by the Russian Foreign Ministry, and would “not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy.”

Trump responded with kind words for Putin, tweeting Friday that he was “very smart” for withholding reciprocal sanctions on the United States, at least for the time being.

The Obama administration said its measures were in response to allegations that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

“It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner,” said Putin. “Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.”

READ: Breaking down the Putin, Trump and Obama spy games

Current, former leaders congratulated

In his annual greetings statement, Putin also congratulated Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others.

Former heads of state and politicians, including former US Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, also received greetings from the Russian President.

Obama, however, was not mentioned in this year’s message.

Putin also congratulated Pope Francis, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General-elect Antonio Guterres, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.