Russian President Vladimir Putin says relations between his country and the U.S. “are getting worse and worse” under President Trump. In a Russian TV interview, Putin focused on the sanctions slapped on Russia by the U.S., but made no mention of Russia’s interference in American elections.
“Our relations with the United States, they are going downhill, they are getting worse and worse,” Putin said in an interview Thursday with Mir TV. “The current administration has approved, in my opinion, several dozen decisions on sanctions against Russia in recent years.”The Russia president said he hoped “common sense will prevail in the end,” noting that Kremlin officials will meet with “the partners from the United States” at the upcoming G20 summit in Japan. President Trump has said he intends to meet with Putin at the summit, though the Kremlin has not confirmed that.
“I think it is inevitable that we will restore our relations, after all it is inevitable,” Putin said. “This situation between the two parts of one nation….between the two brother-nations cannot last, regardless of our relations with the political elite of the past.”The Trump administration has hit Russia hard with sanctions over the past two years. Mr. Trump reluctantly signed sanctions passed by Congress in response to Russia’s 2016 election interference, and his administration has also passed sanctions hitting Russia’s energy and oil businesses, defense sector and several oligarchs tied to the Kremlin. Mr. Trump said Wednesday he is considering sanctions that would block a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.Mr. Trump himself has gone easy on Putin over the election meddling, even after U.S. intelligence agency and special counsel Robert Mueller confirmed Russia’s efforts to sway the election in his favor. Mr. Trump has often cast doubt on these findings and said in a Helsinki summit with Putin last year that he accepts Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial.The Mueller report did not establish a conspiracy between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. After the report’s release, Mr. Trump tweeted that he spoke with Putin about the “Russia hoax” and gave no indication that he warned against more meddling. “Tremendous potential for a good/great relationship with Russia, despite what you read and see in the Fake News Media,” Mr. Trump wrote.
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