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Moscow won’t be guessing how Bolton’s dismissal will affect Russia-US ties, says Lavrov

The Russian top diplomat pointed out that he used to disagree with John Bolton on most issues
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday he had no plans to predict how US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s dismissal could influence relations between Moscow and Washington.

Lavrov told reporters that he had known Bolton since 1990s. "When I was sent to work in New York, I contacted with him sometimes and we went out and had a cup of coffee. He is such good company, he is a competent and intelligent man, it’s pleasant to talk to him."

"Speaking on Bolton’s political views, we disagreed with him on most issues," Russia’s top diplomat said. "He has a harsh style, and he relies on using heavy-handed methods, including military ones. As you know, he had put forward a number of initiatives on modern crises, such as in Venezuela, Iran and somewhere else."

"How will [Bolton’s dismissal] influence Russian-US relations? You know, I won’t be guessing," Lavrov stressed. "It is President [Donald Trump] who outlines US policy, and he has spoken many times in favor of normalizing trade and economic, humanitarian and political ties between our countries and boosting cooperation on the international arena."

According to Lavrov, Moscow welcomes such Trump’s statements. "They were confirmed at a meeting between the Russian and US presidents this June in Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 summit," the foreign minister said.

Lavrov stressed that it was vital that those in charge of fulfilling Trump’s orders translate the declared political principles into practical steps. So far, this effort has not been successful, although there has been some progress. In particular, Russia and the US have resumed dialogue on counterterrorism measures, and another round has been recently completed between the deputy foreign ministers.

"Will the US stance on some foreign policy issues change? Yesterday I heard [US Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo saying at a news conference that the US foreign policy would remain unchanged," Lavrov continued. "So, let’s just be guided by what really happens. And then we will understand whether there are changes or not."

Bolton’s dismissal

US President Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday he had asked John Bolton to resign and would name his successor next week. "I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration," Trump wrote.

The White House announced later that Bolton’s deputy, Charles Kupperman, would serve as acting national security adviser.