MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The Kremlin says it regrets unfriendly steps by the United States towards Russia but Moscow cannot leave them unanswered.
"We regret the unconstructive stance taken by our counterparts in the United States and, of course, we cannot afford to leave unfriendly, and sometimes hostile steps towards us without retaliation," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Thursday.
Peskov said Russia had never initiated crises or restrictions in bilateral relations, but invariably remained opposed to them.
"President Putin systematically reiterates Moscow’s wish to build a good-natured relationship (with the United States), based on the principles of mutual benefit and mutual trust," he said. "This is Putin’s consistent policy."
Peskov remarked that what Russia’s newly-appointed ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told the daily Kommersant in an interview regarding the intention to build good relations with Washington were not Moscow’s new policy.
"No, it is not a new policy, it is a traditional one," he said.
"By tradition we are for good-natured relations with the United States. Moreover, we believe that these relations must be advanced in the interests of peace and global stability and in the interests of settling crucial world and regional problems," Peskov said.