Vladimir Putin has said he would like to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump at an Arctic nations summit in Finland in May.
Repeating his hope that the current frosty relationship between Moscow and Washington would soon start to thaw, Putin once again rejected any notion that the Kremlin had interfered in last year’s US election.
Speaking at an Arctic forum in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk, he also offered the US closer cooperation, particularly in the fight against terrorism.
“We feel that our US partners are interested in developing this cooperation and this is a very good signal. We hope that this (cooperation) will spread to other world regions, including the Arctic,’‘ the president said.
He added, ‘‘No doubt we have something in common, that is the fight against international terrorism. And the fact that President (Donald) Trump set this goal is right and we will support this work.”
The upcoming Arctic Council meeting in Helsinki comes amid an intensifying rivalry between states over land claims in a bid to exploit the regions vast natural resources.
The Kremlin has made gaining a foothold in the Arctic a top priority with the region thought to hold one-quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves.