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Putin says Russia needs friends and will join US in fight against terrorism

Russia would defend its own interests but had no intention of getting involved in any geopolitical conflict as the country is in need of friends, President Vladimir Putin said in his annual state of the nation address on Thursday.

Putin addressed Russia's Federal Assembly at the Kremlin's St George Hall in Moscow in a traditional speech to discuss wide-ranging issues that impact Russia.

"We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends," President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.


Economic slowdown

Putin has spoken on many occasions of the need to build bridges between the U.S. and Russia in light of President-elect Donald Trump's victory.

"We hope to join efforts with the United States in the fight against a real rather than dreamt up threat – global terrorism," he added.

In regards to the economy, Russia is currently in its second year of an economic slowdown as the country continued to struggle with a slump in oil prices.

Putin argued that the main reason for problems with the economy were as a result of internal issues which prevented growth.

"We have delivered macroeconomic stability, preserved our financial reserves. We expect that inflation will drop considerably this year; it will be below 6 percent, possibly 5.8 percent. Next year, we can achieve a 4 percent inflation target, which will create conditions for economic growth," Putin said.

Russia's inflation rate increased 6.1 percent year-on-year in October of 2016.