Jun 17, 5:09 PM EDT

Putin says Russia will work with any US president

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin says Russia will work with whoever is elected the new U.S. president.

Putin earlier on Friday dodged the question of whether he would prefer Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as the new commander-in-chief.

Speaking at a meeting with the leaders of the major news agencies Putin said Moscow is unfazed by the often anti-Russia "campaign rhetoric" and will judge the new president "by their deeds, not by their words."

Putin said he would "seek ways" to restore ties that were dampened by Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 and its support to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

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