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Relations between US, Russia will hardly improve in the near future - expert

The bilateral relations "are quite plainly at a low ebb", David Birdsell said

NEW YORK, November 3. /TASS/. The current status of relations between the United States and Russia does not give grounds to expect their recovery in the near term and conclusion of new agreements in the arms control sphere, Dean and Professor of Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs David Birdsell told TASS.

The bilateral relations "are quite plainly at a low ebb. Treaties are expiring with no short-term prospect of renewal, the US government continues to take action against individuals close to President [Vladimir] Putin (as you’ve seen in recent reporting, Russia is far from alone in this matter; President Trump has already sanctioned roughly as many people worldwide as President Obama and President Bush did in their four terms combined)," the expert says.

Furthermore, "the US intelligence community is unanimous in its belief that Russia continues to interfere with US domestic politics, largely though not exclusively through manipulation of social media and freelance journalists. Nord Stream 2 [gas pipeline] is a source of tension among US allies and Russia, as is the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and the alleged bounties offered to the Taliban [prohibited in Russia - TASS] for killing US soldiers in Afghanistan," Birdsell noted.

"These factors, together with the 2016 Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia, however innocent, have made it impossible for President Trump to pivot toward warmer relations with Russia, an oft-stated goal of his prior campaign, reaffirmed repeatedly in the first two years of his presidency," the Professor says.

It is doubtful that Russia will undertake major initiatives to change the situation at the current level of bilateral relations, the expert added.