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No one expects swift improvement of Russian-US relations after Trump’s victory — Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said both Putin and Trump seem to be very pragmatic
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

NEW YORK, November 11. /TASS/. No one expects Russian-US relations to improve very fast after the victory of Donald Trump at presidential election but if the leaders demonstrate political will, there will be a chance to solve problems constructively, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN in an interview.

"No one expects that relationship will improve in a fortnight between Moscow and Washington. We have a very heavy burden of disagreements on our shoulders. But nonetheless, if our two leaders, I mean the current Russian leader President Putin and President-elect Trump, are wise enough to have a political will to talk to each other and to try to solve problems not by confronting each other, not by using, let’s say language of sanctions or other illogical things hurting both sides, then we really have a chance at least to talk and try to solve the problems being constructive," Peskov said.

"Actually, they seem to be very pragmatic, both of them. They point out as a main objective to protect national interests. We’ve heard Mr Trump mentioning overwhelming priority of America’s national interests, and the same is being proclaimed by President Putin. He is very consistent in saying that Russia’s and Russian people’s prosperity and their national interests are the main objective and the main priority," Peskov went on.

"At the same time, they both expressed readiness to develop good relationship with other countries in the world, as far as third countries are ready to go. This is a very good, very positive coincidence, in my opinion," he said.

Neutrality during election

Russian President Vladimir Putin did everything possible to maintain neutrality toward US election campaign and never announced his preference for a particular candidate, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov went on. “I would like to remind you that President Putin did his best in order to stay neutral in this story, despite the fact that personally he was playing an overwhelming role, quite unexpectedly for us, in American election campaign,” Peskov said.

“Nonetheless, he never pointed out his favorite candidate, and he was very careful saying that Russia would welcome any choice of American people, and we cannot afford interfering into America’s domestic affairs,” he added. “What we have currently is a very lousy relationship, let’s say the minimum possible level of our relationship in the last decade,” Peskov said. 

Cooperation on Syria

Russia will continue working with the United States on Syria, not waiting for the new Administration of Donald Trump to assume office, Peskov said. "Syria is a burning issue, and we cannot afford a pause for a couple of months. So, we have a couple of months ahead, and we will continue to work with an acting Administration in Washington, and Putin will continue to work with Mr Obama. We cannot afford waiting for a couple of months," Peskov said.

"What we expect on Syria is real cooperation, not just exchange of information. This is not sufficient. Unfortunately, thus we cannot be effective in combating terror there, in Syria," he added. "What we have to do now is we have to ensure that promises to differ terrorists from other opposition will be realized into life.

"Russian Air Forces continue to perform their duties in order to support activities of Syrian army against terrorists. And this operation is being continued, although in accordance with the order of Russian Chief Commander, President Putin, they are still holding fire and they are not using military jets in order to bomb terrorist targets in eastern Aleppo. But in general the operation is going on," the Kremlin spokesman stressed.