By Rachel Huggins - 07/04/14 08:27 AM EDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin reached out to President Obama in an Independence Day message Friday, expressing hope that the two countries can improve their relations.
“Mr. Putin said that he hopes that ties between the two countries, which have a rich history, will continue successful development on a pragmatic and equal basis despite the current differences and difficulties,” the Kremlin wrote in a statement.
U.S.-Russia relations have plummeted to its lowest level since the Cold War Era, fueled by growing tension of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March.
In reaction, the U.S. has imposed sanctions against the Russian economy and has threatened to take further action if the country doesn't deescalate the unrest.