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Senator blasts resignation of Trump’s national security adviser over Russia contacts

Claims published by the media earlier suggested that US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had discussed the US anti-Russian sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to Washington

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation over contacts with Russia’s ambassador may signal that President Donald Trump has not yet attained sufficient independence at his post, senior Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Kosachev, who chairs Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for International Affairs, said Flynn can hardly be considered a pro-Russian politician. However, compared with many other high-ranking US officials, he was "open for dialogue and was in Moscow" and had contacts with the Russian ambassador.

"Given the current deadlocked bilateral ties and the lack of cooperation on key global issues, this is certainly better than nothing," Kosachev noted. "Dismissing the national security adviser for contacts with Russia’s ambassador (ordinary diplomatic practice) is not just paranoia, but something much worse," he stressed.

"Either Trump has not gained the desired independence and he is being consistently (and not unsuccessfully) pushed into a corner, or Russophobia has already engulfed the new administration from top to bottom," he added. Earlier reports said US President Donald Trump had accepted the resignation of his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who acknowledged that he had inadvertently provided US Vice President Mike Pence and others with "incomplete information" on his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

Claims published by the Washington Post earlier suggested Flynn had discussed the US anti-Russian sanctions with Kislyak. The telephone consultations presumably took place a month prior to Trump’s inauguration.

The paper said some officials in the administration thought the talks between the would-be national security adviser and the Russian ambassador might have sent an irrational and theoretically incorrect signal to Moscow regarding the sanctions, which the Obama administration had introduced in the wake of the 2014 reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia, could be eased.