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MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation will not affect Russian-US relations on a broad level, senior Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Tuesday.
Slutsky, who chairs the State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs, said that "on a broad lever, Flynn’s resignation cannot affect Russian-US relations, but in any case, it looks like a negative sign."
The Russian lawmaker added that relations between Moscow and Washington "are not very meaningful already." "They should be improved on every level, including the parliamentary one. I hope that some positive trends will emerge," he said.
Slutsky went on saying that "regardless of the Flynn issue, the US has become much accustomed to marginalizing Russia and it has not yet dropped its habit." "It is not easy to turn the state machine around. Let us hope that Trump’s rhetoric will be translated into a positive practice. We will work on that," he said.
At the same time, the Russian lawmaker did not rule out that that the Flynn issue could be a provocation. "Flynn’s resignation could be a provocation, though he could become part of the US state system once again after some time. But right now it seems to be kind of a negative signal sent to Russia, hinting at some inappropriate things that we discussed with the US National Security Adviser, so he had to resign. However, Flynn is unlikely to have divulged state secrets as he is rather experienced and professional," Slutsky said.
In his opinion, "all this situation could be aimed at making the US establishment continue to consider Russia as a strategic opponent."
According to media reports, US President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who acknowledged that he had inadvertently provided US Vice President Mike Pence with "incomplete information" on his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. Retired Army General Keith Kellogg, a top policy adviser for Trump’s presidential campaign, has been appointed acting national security adviser.