MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Moscow has no illusions that after US President-elect Donald Trump takes office either NATO will stop beefing up its presence close to the Russian borders or sanctions against Russia will be lifted, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a televised interview with Mir TV channel on Wednesday.
"We expect big constructive (relations). We do not expect all the issues to be resolved. We do not expect America to refuse offhand from NATO expanding or from NATO beefing up its military infrastructure near our borders," Peskov said, adding that "we do not expect the sanctions to be lifted offhand and we do not raise this issue."
The Kremlin spokesman cited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stance, who reiterated that these issues were not on the Kremlin’s agenda.
"We have not initiated the sanctions dialogue and we will not initiate the removal of sanctions. Most probably, it is our partners’ problem," Peskov said, noting "the sanctions would not hurt us as much but it would deal a bigger blow to the business community in Europe since our volume of trade with the United States has never surpassed about $24 billion, which is rather insignificant for such countries as Russia and the US. So in the end, the US has lost nothing but Europe loses the most." He said that "European farmers, European car makers and others" are those who have been hurt.
"No-one will turn it down in an instant but given our partners show readiness to hold a dialogue so as to look for solutions and readiness to take into consideration each other’s concerns, it would be the best indication and it would be a new fresh approach," Peskov said. "Logic dictates that if there is a problem, it should be discussed."
"All levels of dialogue with the Unites States remain in a frozen state. We do not communicate, or do it minimally," Putin’s press secretary added.
The Kremlin spokesman denounced the remarks of US Vice President Joe Biden, who "came forward with direct threats against Russia and said that America will carry out some destructive actions in the cyber space against Russia and a range of its facilities."
"The practice is unprecedented when the vice president of the most powerful country in the world, the United States, is threatening Russia," Peskov said, adding that the position is not constructive.
"We think that it inflicts additional harm on the previously degraded relationship of Moscow and Washington," Peskov said.
"In this regard, we pin certain hopes on new, fresher and more constructive approaches coming from the new administration," he said. "We have no idea yet what kind of approaches are going to emerge. We have no idea what kind of president Trump is going to become. We have no idea what his future policy towards Russia will be like."
"We have never suffered from excessive optimism and have never worn rose-colored glasses. We realize perfectly that any US president will safeguard his country’s interests and we also proceed from the fact that President Putin acts, primarily and always, in his country’s interests," Peskov emphasized.