Putin was largely mute on the various conflicts that have brought relations to post-Cold War lows while speaking at an energy conference attended by top executives from Exxon Mobil and other oil companies, instead focusing on the opportunity to mend wounds.
He stated that Russia was willing to engage in constructive talks on arms limitation, and that the two countries shared “objective mutual interests” in battling terrorism and money laundering, combating tax havens, and stabilizing energy markets.
“These… will undoubtedly lead to our relations being repaired in one way or another, and the US political establishment will stop speculating on US-Russian relations to the detriment of its own interests and those of its companies,” Putin added, referring to US sanctions that he claimed caused Exxon Mobil to abandon lucrative contracts in Russia.
He described his relationship with Vice President Joe Biden and his administration as “solid and fruitful.”
Biden sent Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, a renowned Russia specialist, to Moscow this week for negotiations that failed to make meaningful headway for the second time in a row over the size and operation of the two countries’ embassies in each other’s capitals.
Ties are badly strained over a host of other issues, including cyber-attacks launched from Russia against U.S. businesses and the jailing of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most prominent domestic opponent.
Biden and Putin held a summit in June in Geneva, when the U.S. president said Washington would find out in the next six months to a year whether it was possible to establish a worthwhile strategic dialogue with Moscow.
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