Russia’s Vladimir Putin spoke at an energy conference in Moscow on Wednesday and called on the US and his country to gradually restore relations.
The Russian president spoke at a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum, where he made wide-ranging comments on issues ranging from European energy and defence policy to US sanctions.
Mr Putin told attendees that he wanted to see the US and Russia gradually restore friendly ties, while adding that he had a “working” relationship with US President Joe Biden.
He lashed out, however, at US sanctions including the most recent round signed into law by the Biden administration in April, claiming that “no one won” from the situation they caused, which Russia has blamed for the deterioration of US-Russia relations.
The two have not discussed the ongoing surge in the price of oil, the Russian president continued in his remarks. He defended cuts to Russian oil production as beneficial to Russian firms, and announced a deal in principle for the construction of a second natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and China, to be build through Mongolia.
The Biden administration cited a wide range of malign actions allegedly taken by Russian figures and groups in April upon slapping new sanctions on Moscow, and directly accused the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service of committing a hack of the US-based SolarWinds company. The Russian agency has denied the claims.
At the time, Mr Biden also indicated that he had shown a willingness to work with Russia in conversations with Mr Putin, while vowing to hold Russia accountable for further efforts to attack US interests.
“My bottom line is this: There is an interest in the United States to work with Russia. We should and we will,” Mr Biden said to reporters.
“[W]hen Russia seeks to violate the interests of the United States, we will respond,” he added.