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Russia impatient for improved dialogue with US: Kremlin

Russia impatient for improved dialogue with US: Kremlin

WASHINGTON: A Russian government spokesman expressed impatience on Sunday that bilateral relations with the United States have not improved more quickly since US President Donald Trump took office.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said his country’s government is eager for improved US-Russian relations, calling it “unpardonable not to be in dialogue,” as Moscow presses the new US leader to make good on vows to improve ties.

“We certainly would expect our contacts to be more frequent, more in-depth, in order to sit and then talk to each other... because we had quite a significant pause in our bilateral relations,” Peskov said in an interview that aired on Sunday on CNN’s “GPS” programme.

“For countries like Russia and the United States, it’s unpardonable not to be in dialogue, especially against this amount of regional and global problems that we have.”

Earlier this year, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to develop relations “as equals” and establish “real coordination” to fight the militant Islamic State group in Syria, the Kremlin had said.

Peskov echoed that sentiment in the CNN interview, but urged the US to do more to kickstart the dialogue.

Trump is “not hiding the fact that he disagrees in lots of things with Russia, but he’s quite pragmatic enough to say that we have to talk,” Peskov said.

“We have to compare our positions in order to find some common ground,” he said.

“At the same time, he says that we have to come together and start our dialogue. And, unfortunately, we don’t have a better understanding on when this dialogue can begin.” Peskov also voiced concern over the assessment by America’s intelligence establishment that Russia interfered in the US election last year in support of Trump.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2017

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