MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. US domestic policy strife has hindered the development of constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in a comment on the main foreign policy outcomes of 2019.
"The US domestic policy strife has hindered the development of constructive dialogue with Washington," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted. "We have maintained contact in the sphere of counterterrorism and on some regional issues, including the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula."
The Russian diplomats added that Russia’s offer to prolong the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which is set to expire on February 5, 2021, remains on the table.
On September 24, the US Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry against the US leader. The accusations against the US leader flared up over Trump’s telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky. The Democrats argue that Trump tried to persuade Zelensky to investigate the activities of former US Vice-President Joseph Biden and his son in Ukraine in exchange for financial and military assistance to Kiev.
Biden is one of Trump’s most likely rivals in the presidential election due in November 2020. The Democrats claim that the incumbent president exerted pressure on Zelensky with the aim of securing Kiev’s support in efforts to discredit Biden, thus improving his chances of being re-elected for a second term. Zelensky vowed Trump had never exerted pressure on him.
On December 18, the US House of Representatives voted to approve both articles of Trump’s impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The indictment, prepared as a result of the investigation in the Legal Committee, will be transferred to the Senate, where the procedure will turn into a trial. It will be led by the Chairman of the US Supreme Court. In this case, the House of Representatives actually acts as a party to the prosecution, and senators play the role of a jury.