President-elect Donald Trump on Friday shared a letter he received from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who offered Trump his "Warmest Christmas and New Year greetings" and called for "Real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation."
"A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct," Trump said in a statement. "I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path."
The release of the letter comes days after Russia voiced complaints about its relationship with the US under the Obama administration. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that the US "Must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability,” hours after Putin pledged to enhance his country's nuclear forces.
Trump reportedly told MSNBC on Friday, "Let it be an arms race."
At his marathon annual news conference on Thursday, Putin said that the US and Russia "Need to discuss ways to normalize our relations. During his election campaign, Trump said it would be proper to normalize, and it can't be worse, and I agree with him."
Sharp rhetoric from the US and Russia has stemmed from disagreements over crises in Syria and Ukraine, and allegations by the US that Russia covertly interfered in the 2016 election -- to the advantage of Trump, according to the intelligence community. Ref. CNN.