Putin's New Year's statement congratulates Trump, not Obama
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Putin said that he looks forward to Trump's administration and hopes that the U.S. and Russia can act "in a constructive and pragmatic manner," CNN reported Saturday.
 
The Russian leader said he hopes the nations "will be able to take real steps to restore the mechanisms of bilateral cooperation in various areas and take their interaction in the international arena to a whole new level."
 
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The Russian leader did congratulate Obama and his family with the upcoming holiday in a separate response to an array of new anti-Russian measures announced by the White House on Friday.
 
The measures included new punishing sanctions and an expulsion of 35 Russian officials from the U.S. as a response to findings from intelligence agencies that Moscow attempted to interfere in the November election.
 
In his direct message to Trump released by the Kremlin on Friday, Putin underscored the importance of strong bilateral relations between Russia and the U.S. when it comes to global geopolitical stability, according to CNN.
 
"Major global and regional challenges that our countries have confronted in recent years clearly confirm that Russia-US relations are an important factor in ensuring stability and security in the modern world," Putin said.