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Moscow wishes to avoid confrontation with Washington

A Russian diplomat says US President Donald Trump is pursuing a tougher foreign policy than his predecessor

MOSCOW, August 7. /TASS/. Moscow hopes that the United States will not choose to start a confrontation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (or International Life) magazine, published on Monday. He also emphasized the need to minimize the damage caused by the US sanctions.

"As for confrontation, I would not go that far," he said. "I hope that things won’t come to a confrontation. We will work to minimize the damage from what has been done," the senior Russian diplomat added.

"According to our estimates, these actions will have long-term consequences," Ryabkov went on to say. "This is not a one-day issue. At present, it is hard for me to say, how long it will take to establish a normal modus operandi with the United States. But I confirm that we will try to do that," he added.

The Russian deputy foreign minister also said that "it will be difficult to overcome it all if both houses of Congress do not take decisions to cancel everything that they have done concerning Russian-US relations." "It will take a long time, without a doubt," Ryabkov noted.

Trump administration 

"As for foreign policy, I am disappointed and have to state that in many respects this is a continuation of the worst of [Barack] Obama’s legacy, even a tougher policy in some aspects, directions, the rhetoric and the political line, which caused problems in relations with us and problems in Washington’s relations with other countries at the final stage of the previous administration's tenure," the diplomat noted.

According to Ryabkov, the US president’s domestic policy continues to be attractive for a considerable part of Americans. "However, from the point of view of its implementation in specific matters, everything is going not as smoothly as the White House and the executive power would like on the whole."

"I would not say that the Trump administration in many respects is trying to impose its own agenda on the US," he went on to say. "Let’s see what the future holds."

In light of this, Ryabkov drew attention to the fact that Trump is "a strong-willed, independent and very experienced person, so such internal political storms do not seem to be a hindrance for him, at least, these are not the issues that make him ponder whether is doing the right thing."

"This is probably not the case," Ryabkov said. "We can see that, in general, there are options when one can say that adequate support and majority, including among legislators, are ensured. However, such issues are few in number, and they are not the key ones. Therefore, for the time being, it can be said that the Trump administration is still trying to find its feet.".

"It is a hard fact that an anti-Russian genie has been set free by the Democratic Party, whose candidate lost the presidential election. This fact is of considerable importance for me," Ryabkov said.

"This chase after a phantom external enemy triggered the effects we are witnesses to today, including the new law and the paranoidal, unexplainable, and irrational wave of charges against Russia of all mortal sins and a certain persecution mania many politicians and functionaries in Washington experience today," he believes.

"In an unprecedented fashion the Democrats have used Russia as a bugbear and the relations with it as a hammer to crush the Trump presidency. In reality they have upset the chances of building more sensible relations with Russia for a long period to come," Ryabkov said. "In a sense this is a new reality."

"It is unfortunate that Russian-US relations have failed the pressure test from the standpoint of being able to stand up to attacks that have been increasing in the past months," he said. "In the end, the majority in the House of Representatives, as well as in the Senate, actually imposed its will on the administration," the senior Russian diplomat pointed out.

New sanctions

"Russia does not yield to concessions under pressure and generally does not do anything under orders, anything what opponents want and what they seek," the Russian diplomat stressed.

"The issue of adjusting our economic mechanisms to existence in this reality is very serious," the deputy foreign minister said.

"I can assure you that we are dealing with this issue, including the economic bloc of our government," the diplomat said.

"It is quite customary in our history and it is a typical method to derive pluses from minuses," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.

"We would like new generations who deal with the economy and business in our country to be inspired by such examples and we have implemented precisely this model of behavior," the diplomat said.