MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. Political willpower in fostering top-level Russian-US dialogue has succeeded, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
"No doubt, Moscow and Washington have many issues where their positions are diametrically opposed. But you see that now political resolve has prevailed and at the moment understanding is growing that such issues for discussion should not be an obstacle on the path to establishing and expanding bilateral dialogue, in this case at the top level," Peskov said.
Touching on US President Donald Trump’s statement that at the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin he plans to discuss Crimea, Peskov stressed that for Moscow the issue of recognizing the Black Sea Peninsula as Russia’s territory cannot be on the agenda of international negotiations.
"The Russian president has stated many times and explained to his interlocutors that such an issue as Crimea cannot be and will never be on the agenda as Crimea is an inalienable part of Russia. All other issues are a matter of a consensus, for discussions and a search for possible common ground," he said.
Peskov reiterated the position of the head of state that "he and Russia are open for dialogue and jointly searching for compromises."
An upbeat trend in Russian-US political contacts is an encouraging fact, but it is still too early to speak of a thaw in relations, he said.
"Let us not rush to speak about thaws," Peskov said. The spokesman said first the sides must "discuss and review the differences and sources of major concern in bilateral relations".
A meeting with US congressional representatives currently on a visit to Russia is not on the agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the present time. "So far there is no such meeting on the president’s agenda, but we know that the American legislators have planned very extensive meetings with their colleagues," the Kremlin spokesman noted.
US congressional members arrived in Russia on Saturday, making their first stop in St. Petersburg. The summit of Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will be held in Helsinki on July 16. The two leaders will discuss a range of challenging issues, including Syria.