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Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a New Year letter to the U.S. President Donald Trump, which reads that Moscow is ready for dialogue with the U.S. on a "wide-ranging agenda", reports Voice of America.

On his way to the summit, Trump said he wouldn't be meeting with Putin, citing tensions over Russian forces opening fire on, then seizing Ukrainian Navy ships and their crews. The two leaders also failed to meet in Paris during the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

Washington this year made the bombshell announcement that it was pulling out of a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons agreement - the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

The past year has been a tough one for Russia, as the countries that see Russia as a competitor for world dominance exert pressure on Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated during the interview with the Rossiya-1 channel, published on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website, TASS reports.

In messages to other leaders, Putin discussed relations between the two countries, including his message to Assad.

Putin wished "well-being and prosperity to the British people", the Kremlin said.

The message to Assad comes weeks after Trump announced that the US will remove 2,000 troops from Syria.

The Year of China-Russia Local Cooperation and Exchange programme proceeded smoothly in 2018, and the popular support for friendship from generation to generation between the two peoples has been further consolidated, the Chinese President said.

Mattis will leave the post on January 1, 2019.

The summary states the Russian leader wrote: "Russia-US relations are the most important factor behind ensuring strategic stability and global security".

Putin also sent letters to former-President Barack Obama when he was in office, including a message delivered on Independence Day in 2016.