Russian President Vladimir Putin offers a ball from the 2018 World Cup to US President Donald Trump after a meeting in Helsinki in July. Photo: AFP

Moscow remains “open to dialogue” despite 2018 ending without the hoped-for warming of relations between the Kremlin and Washington, President Vladimir Putin’s office assured on Sunday.

“Russian-US relations remain an important factor in order to guarantee strategic stability and international security,” the presidency said in a New Year statement, which added that Putin “has confirmed that Russia is open to dialogue with the United States on the maximum number of subjects.”

In December 2017, Putin said he hoped to “normalize” relations with President Donald Trump but multiple investigations of Moscow’s alleged interference in American politics made that impossible.

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. Putin responded by announcing that Russia would develop new missiles.

– with reporting by Agence France-Presse

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