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Lavrov blames Obama administration for souring Russia-US ties

The top diplomat says he does not believe Tillerson’s words on Russia's alleged interference in the US election

UNITED NATIONS, September 22./TASS/. Relations of Russia and the US suffer not over conflicts but over the legacy of the Obama administration, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference after high-level meetings at the UN General Assembly session.

"Russian-American relations suffer not only because there are conflicts, but because the previous administration behaved meanly, vindictively, planting a delayed-action mine under Russian-American relations," the foreign minister said. "I did not expect this from a Noble Peace Prize winner (former President Barack Obama).

Lavrov is convinced that "it is very bad that a vast potential of our bilateral relations has been mothballed due to Russophobic hysteria and that global issues suffer since Russia and the US cannot coordinate [on the issues]."

Alleged meddling in US election

Lavrov said he does not believe US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s words that he has evidence of Russia’s interference in the US presidential election. "When I asked Rex Tillerson how his words could be confirmed that Russia’s meddling in US election is well documented, he said, ‘I cannot show you anything as it is classified information,’" the Russian foreign minister said. "You know I cannot believe it.".

No one has presented any evidence to support the accusations of Russia’s interference in the US election, he said. "A campaign has been ramped up over legality of [US] President Donald Trump’s election and over the fact that Russia had ensured his becoming president by meddling in the election campaign, but they have failed to produce any single fact," Lavrov said. "About the interference in the election, although a year has passed since various commissions started working, nobody, nowhere, has presented any single fact to us."