But on other topics, cooperation between Moscow and Washington still faces some hurdles. An election-monitoring nonprofit group, Golos, was fined $10,000 Thursday for failing to register as a foreign agent, and its director was fined $3,300. Golos, which uncovered widespread electoral fraud in Russian elections in 2011 and 2012, formerly received grant money from the United States.
"Disappointed with the decision rendered on Golos," tweeted U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul after the court ruling.
And the controversial embezzlement trial of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, closely followed by U.S. officials, continued in Kirov on Thursday. Navalny and his supporters say he is being railroaded for leading last year's protests. Without mentioning Navalny by name, Putin assured his viewers that there can be no place for politics in Russian justice.
People who publicly object to corruption, he said, must be as clean as "crystal," because they are inviting scrutiny.