Russia’s President Vladimir Putin expressed his hope of restoring good relations between Russia and the United States when he received US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Tuesday in Sochi.
Putin said that when he talked to Donald Trump on the phone a few days ago, he had the impression that the US President was ready to restore bilateral relations and resolve issues of mutual interest. He reiterated that Moscow was ready to fully restore relations and expressed the hope that its conditions would be met.
He argued that the “objective” investigation by US Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller confirmed that there was no conspiracy between the current US administration and Russia during the 2016 US presidential election. He recalled that, from the outset, Moscow had called the accusations against him “total nonsense”.
“No interference with the US election was at our state level, and it couldn’t be,” the President said.
He pointed out that the bilateral relationship had nevertheless deteriorated and voiced his confidence that the situation would change. The President called the preservation of military stability, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the resolution of regional crises, the fight against organized crime, the resolution of ecological problems, the treatment of poverty and other economic issues, among the possible areas of cooperation.
As he said, Russia and the United States, as the world’s leading oil producer, could engage in dialogue on the stability of the energy market and other economic cooperation. He noted that the otherwise not significant bilateral trade in goods increased by 5 percent in 2018.
Sergey Rjabkov, deputy head of Russian diplomacy, told reporters after talks between Pompeo and Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, that the United States is still only showing interest in widening cooperation with Russia in Syria. As he said, the position of the parties is still substantially different on this issue.