KONFRONTASI - Russia says that the US’s former administration is to blame for Moscow, Washington relations being at their lowest level since the Cold War.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov made the remark on Tuesday, while noting that former US President Barack Obama and his government “began to turn towards a strain, and then a confrontation with us long before the Ukrainian crisis.”
The US and its allies blame Moscow for the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea’s joining Russia following a referendum in March 2014.
He stressed that relations between the two countries are at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.
“The foundation of cooperation that had been gradually created over the course of many years was almost completely destroyed in a short period of time by the previous US administration,” he added.
Ryabkov noted that the Obama administration had made illogical moves before and after the US elections, which served only to fuel anti-Russian sentiment.
“Just beyond understanding and common sense was what happened before and after the presidential election in the United States… In the wake of slanderous accusations that Russia interfered in the election process, the Obama administration caused Russophobic hysteria,” he added.
US President Barack Obama speaks during an address to the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, December 6, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
The Russian official also noted that President Donald Trump’s opponents are still pursuing an anti-Russia stance to discredit Trump, who has voiced hopes of bettering ties with Russia.
“The new president of the United States was immediately faced with a well-established anti-Russian attitude among the Washington elite, shared, in fact, by all the functioning cogs of the American political class. Trump’s opponents continue to fuel Russophobia as one of the central elements to their massive campaign aimed at discrediting the new US administration,” he added.
US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on February 17, 2017 as he departs to attend the unveiling of the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by AFP)
He noted that Russia is currently working to reduce the damage from such “malicious efforts,” and that Moscow is fully aware that the new US administration needs time to “fine-tune” its foreign policies and priorities.
“I would like to believe that the change in Washington will create a door of opportunity to improve the situation in the dialogue between our countries… We are open to constructive cooperation with the US…without attempts to blackmail,” he added. [ptv]