Donald Trump’s transition team has released a letter that they say was sent to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The president-elect said about the note, which is dated December 14, 2016: “A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct.”
On December 22, the two leaders called for their respective nations to boost their nuclear arsenals.
Earlier, Donald Trump seemed to welcome the notion of a nuclear arms race tweeting that the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability”, only after hours after President Vladimir Putin had called for his own military to “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces”.
In the letter released by the Trump transition team, Vladimir Putin says he hopes that “we will be able – by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner – to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration to the international scene to a qualitatively new level”.
Experts believe that Vladimir Putin hopes that the next US president will remove economic sanctions by the US Department of Treasury which have been placed on Russian officials following the invasion and annexation of Crimea.
At an annual media briefing on December 23 in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said he saw nothing remarkable in Donald Trump’s tweet, making it clear that he does not view the US as a potential aggressor.
Donald Trump has been seen as close to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, and drew condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats when he announced his selection of Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.
Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, has worked closely with Russian state oil company Rosneft, spoken out against international sanctions imposed on Moscow, and in 2013 was awarded an Order of Friendship by the Kremlin.
In response to Vladimir Putin’s letter, Donald Trump praised the Russian president’s words, calling them “so correct”.