RUSSIALINK: “Senior Russian diplomat interviewed on relations with USA; Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s interview with the newspaper Izvestia, published on July 3, 2017” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Izvestia

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

“… ‘Crisis in relations’

[Zabrodin] Many people in Russia hoped that under Donald Trump, Moscow and Washington would manage to reach agreement. However, there is an impression that the crisis in relations is only deteriorating. What is the reason for that?

[Ryabkov] I would not say that the relationship is in an even worse crisis than it was at the time of the departure of the Barack Obama Administration. However, it is true that the relationship is being repaired with great difficulty. By and large, we have not achieved the necessary dynamics of improvement. This is a consequence of a combination of factors. The defining one is the extremely fierce confrontation involving various political trends in the United States. There are very serious and influential circles that still would not accept Donald Trump’s election victory and are using the issue of relations with Moscow in the internal political struggle. They are trying to restrict the new Administration’s room for manoeuvre with respect to Russia and create difficulties for the Administration in domestic politics in order to stop it pursuing its agenda, which differs in many ways from the ideas of Trump’s opponents on how and where America should be moving. This is compounded by very serious differences of a fundamental nature in approaches to a number of international problems. We can see what was happening and is happening in Syria. This is no longer a question of us having a different understanding of what a legitimate government is and how terrorism should be fought. There are differences on issues of strategic stability and so on. …”