Trump, Putin have really close positions in foreign policy: Kremlin
A high-ranking Russian official says he sees a great deal of similarity between US President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy approach and that of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, expressing hope that the strained relations between Moscow and Washington would improve.
“Trump said the US interests were the main priority for him and he would be prepared to build a relationship with any country. Putin said the same thing. He spoke about Russia’s national priorities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday evening upon his arrival in New York for the opening of the World Chess Championship Match 2016, which will see Russian Sergey Karjakin facing off against reigning champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in several games played from November 11 to 30.
“It is phenomenal how close they are to one another when it comes to their conceptual approach to foreign policy. And that is probably a good basis for our moderate optimism that they will at least be able to start a dialogue to start to clear out the Augean stables in our bilateral relations,” Peskov (seen below) pointed out.
The Kremlin spokesman, however, admitted that Russian-US relations would not lift to high levels overnight.
“An atmosphere of mutual trust takes years to achieve,” he said. “It’s not possible to just declare that there is an atmosphere of mutual trust, especially after such serious damage was done in the last few years to our relations.”
The senior Russian official also stated that Putin favors good relations with the United States.
“Putin pursues consistent and flexible policy, but flexibility has limits. The Russian president is in favor of good relations, an improvement in relations with the US, we will see to which extent it will be a mutual bid,” Peskov said.
Commenting on the news of Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, Putin said during a speech at the Kremlin on Wednesday that Russia looks forward to restoring bilateral relations with the United States.
“We understand and are aware that it will be a difficult path in the light of the degradation in which, unfortunately, the relationship between Russia and the US are at the moment,” he stated, adding, “It is not our fault that Russia-US relations are as you see them.”
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax on Thursday that the country’s Foreign Ministry had “contact” with Trump’s campaign before the election.
Relations between Moscow and Washington hit their post-Cold War lows after Crimea re-integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014. Ties further deteriorated when Moscow last year launched an air campaign against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.