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Vladimir Putin's Christmas letter to Donald Trump encourages bilateral cooperation

By Eric DuVall
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Vladimir Putin's Christmas letter to Donald Trump encourages bilateral cooperation
Russian President Vladimir Putin wished President-elect Donald Trump success when he takes office. Putin penned a Christmas letter to Trump, which his transition team released Friday. Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/EPA

NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- President-elect Donald Trump on Friday released a letter he received from Russian President Vladimir Putin, wishing Trump success as president and encouraging more U.S.-Russian cooperation.

Putin wrote Trump in a letter dated Dec. 15, offering the incoming president "sincere wishes to you and your family of sound health, happiness, well-being, success and all the best."

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As for the substance of the holiday greeting, Putin encouraged Trump to pursue a more collaborative approach to relations between the two countries.

"Serious global and regional challenges, which our countries have to face in recent years, show that the relations between Russia and the U.S. remain an important factor in ensuring stability and security of the modern world," Putin wrote. "I hope that after you assume the position of 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."

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Trump called Putin's remarks "so correct" and repeated Putin's language that the two countries "do not need to travel an alternate path."

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The letter comes after Trump raised concerns of a renewed Cold War-era arms race with a tweet that suggested the United States should significantly upgrade its nuclear weapons stockpile.

Trump said the country "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

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Putin downplayed Trump's comments at a news conference, saying it was "nothing new" versus Trump's campaign rhetoric about increasing military spending.

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