- The Washington Times - Friday, December 23, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked to “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation” with the U.S. in a letter to President-elect Donald Trump earlier this month — which the transition team released Friday.

The letter offers Christmas and New Year’s wishes, then Mr. Putin suggests the two nations find a way to get beyond the loggerheads of the last few years.

“I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America 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 on the international scene to a qualitatively new level,” Mr. Putin said.

Mr. Trump, in a statement, called it “a very nice letter” and said “his thoughts are so correct.”

“I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path,” he said.

Democrats and the Obama administration have accused Mr. Putin of meddling in the U.S. election to try to sink Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee and former secretary of state who had tried but failed to earn better relations with Russia.

The release of the letter comes a day after both Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump suggested they might push to expand their countries’ nuclear capabilities — a move that arms control groups said could presage a new arms race.

During the campaign, Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump each had positive things to say about the other’s leadership style.

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