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    Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the audience during a ceremony of receiving diplomatic credentials from foreign ambassadors at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, November 9, 2016

    Putin: Russia-US Relations in Many Aspects Much Worse Than During Cold War

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a speech at a meeting of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Russia.

    According to Vladimir Putin, though the US and Russia have embarked on the road of positive changes in the bilateral relations, the latter are much worse in many aspects than during the Cold War. 

    "We need a positive agenda aimed at working together to find common ground. We have talked about this, of course, at a meeting with US President Donald Trump [in Helsinki]. Even with all the difference in views, we agreed that Russian-American relations are in an extremely unsatisfactory state, in many respects even worse than during the Cold War," Putin said.

    The president noted that it was impossible to solve the problems in a few hours.

    "No one expected it, nevertheless, I believe that the path to positive changes has been paved," Putin said.

    READ MORE: Ex-US Army Officer: Putin's Idea to Bring US Investigators to Russia 'Brilliant'

    On Relations Between Russia, Other Countries

    The president further said that Moscow was ready to partnership relations with all countries and international organizations.

    "Our citizens want to see Russia as a strong, independent, peace-loving state. We are open to partnership, mutually beneficial and constructive relations with all countries and regional associations," Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and envoys.

    The Russian president noted that Russia's diplomatic missions around the world were working professionally and smoothly.

    "Our policy on ensuring global security and stability, countering new challenges and threats is certainly in demand around the world," Putin stressed.

    According to Putin, Russia should develop relations with the European Union despite existing difficulties.

    "We should seek to develop relations with the European Union which, despite current problems, remains one of our key trade partners. We share many economic interests with the European Union," Putin said.

    On Prospect of Russian Economy

    Russia should develop new markets and overcome obstacles that impede the work of Russian companies abroad, Putin said, adding that Russia should not only enter top five of largest economies in the world but ensure high living standards, including through foreign policy.

    "In the years to come, Russia should not only firmly enter top five of the largest economies in the world, but also significantly improve the living standards of our citizens. To achieve these strategic goals, we must make full use of opportunities in the area of foreign policy," Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and envoys.

    The Russian president noted that Russia had to develop new markets and overcome obstacles to the activities of its companies abroad.

    READ MORE: Russia Files Complaint Over US Metal Tariffs With WTO — Economic Development Min

    On Iranian, North Korean Nuclear Issues

    The Russian president praised efforts made by US President Donald Trump in settling the North Korean issue and expressed hope that positive trends would lead to tangible results.

    "We expect that the positive trends that have been set, including thanks to the contribution of President Trump, will be further developed", Putin said at the meeting.

    According to Russia's head of state, it's necessary to prevent the uncontrollable growth of tensions in Iran, following the US exit from the JCPOA.

    "This document plays a crucial role for the global non-proliferation regime. The task now is to preserve this key agreement and prevent an uncontrolled increase in tensions in the Middle East," Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and envoys.

    On Russia's Closest Neighbors

    Speaking about Ukraine, Putin said the risk for the escalation of the situation in the country's east remained in place.

    "Serious risks — risks of aggravation of the situation — remain in the southeast of Ukraine. The reasons, in fact, are the same — the failure of the current Ukrainian authorities to comply with their commitments, the refusal to resolve the conflict peacefully. Over and over again, they demonstrate blatant neglect of agreements, unwillingness to hold dialogue with their citizens," Putin said.

    The Russian president noted further that Russia will react proportionally to the aggressive steps taken by NATO, those who want to include Ukraine or Georgia in the alliance should think about the consequences of such an irresponsible policy.

    "We will react proportionally to such aggressive steps that pose a direct threat to Russia. Our colleagues, who… try to include, say, Ukraine or Georgia in the military orbit of the alliance, should think about the possible consequences of such an irresponsible policy," Putin said.

    The president noted that the basis of security in Europe lied in the development of cooperation and trust.

    "The key to ensuring security and stability in Europe is precisely to expand cooperation and restore trust, rather than deploying new NATO bases and military infrastructure at the Russian borders, which is happening now," Putin said.

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