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Diplomat says impossible to restore full contacts of Russian, US military under Obama

A diplomat notes Pentagon's call on the US president-elect not to cooperate with Russia on Syria proves contradictions in Washington

MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. The restoration of a full-fledged dialogue between the Russian and US military is impossible under the current Washington administration, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Monday.

"I would like to ask the US defense ministry: what does cooperation mean for it? If this is restoring full-fledged contacts between the military suspended a rather long time ago and unilaterally by the Obama administration, then the issue apparently cannot be solved under the current administration," Ryabkov stressed. "It holds its ground stubbornly."

The diplomat said Pentagon's call on the U.S. president-elect not to cooperate with Russia on Syria is a proof of contradictions in Washington.

"This is an old position of Obama's administration, the position, containing contradictions," the diplomat said. "On one hand, they declare any cooperation with Russia is of no purpose, while on avoiding incidents in the air the cooperation does continue."

Moscow has no intention to persuade Pentagon to cooperate on Syria, he went on, Washington is no less interested in dialog.

"We are interested no more than the United States in this cooperation but as the outgoing US administration adheres to this line due to considerations that have no relation to practical work, we’ll proceed from this," Ryabkov said.

"Of course, in any case, we do not intend to persuade the Pentagon leadership to change something in this regard," the diplomat said.

A few days earlier, in an interview with CBS the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said: "I’m not recommending to the president that we associate ourselves with or work with the Russians."

Russia ready to fix relations with US

Moscow is ready absolutely, without delays, to begin fixing the relations with the US, Ryabkov said. 

High-level statements on the approach to development of relations with the future U.S. administration have been voiced already, he said.

"We shall be judging by deeds, not by signals or promises," he said. "The Russian side is ready, without wasting time, to begin the work to fix the current state of relations with the U.S., which have been taken to a crisis, a deadlock by the outgoing administration."

"We shall structure our work accordingly in the upcoming period," he added.

The diplomat also said the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump from the very first days began actively working on contacts with foreign leaders.

"In our opinion, this proves he pays not simply big interest, but pays very serious attention to this direction," the deputy minister said. "On the other hand, we as yet know only little about his plans or intentional of the future administration in this sphere."

"At the stage of the election campaign, respective signals from Trump or his team were rather limited," he continued. "We have studied closely everything said then on this topic."

In the U.S. system, he said, "election promises and what is stated during the election campaign, and practical policies - make difference, there is a certain gap between them."

Iran-Sextet deal

Ryabkov went on to say that Russia still considers balanced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the Sextet (five permanent UN SC members plus Germany).

During the election campaign, Donald Trump called the nuclear deal "disaster" and "the worst deal ever negotiated" and promised to review it once he wins the presidential post.

"We consider the deal between the Sextet and Iran balanced and a major input in improvement of the international security," the diplomat said. "This assessment of ours has not changed."