Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he saw potential to work with the United States on a host of issues from arms control to energy and that he had established a solid working relationship with President Joe Biden.
Addressing an energy conference attended by top executives of Exxon Mobil and other oil majors, Putin was largely silent on the many disputes that have driven relations to post-Cold War lows, choosing instead to focus on the potential to mend fences.
He said Russia was ready for constructive talks on arms control, and the two sides also had “objective mutual interests" in fighting terrorism and money laundering, combating tax havens and stabilising energy markets.
“These… will definitely lead one way or another to our relations being repaired, and the U.S. political establishment will stop speculating on U.S.-Russian relations to the detriment of its own interests and those of its companies," Putin added, referring to U.S. sanctions which he said had caused Exxon Mobil to abandon lucrative contracts in Russia.
He said relations with Biden and his administration were stable and constructive.
Biden this week sent a top Russia expert, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, to Moscow for talks that failed to make significant progress in a row over the size and functioning 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 US 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 US 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.