Russian FM: Moscow Never ‘Bet’ on US Election
REUTERS/ Shannon StapletonRussia01:46 17.02.2018Get short URL
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia was never a “hostage” to expectations of Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States, suggestions that Moscow bet on him at the 2016 election and lost are speculation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
“I would not say that we were hostage to some expectations. There is much speculation at the moment on the issue of Russia ‘betting’ on Trump and losing,” Lavrov told Euronews.
The minister added that a number of Russian politicians and activists had indeed made statements in support of Trump’s presidency, however the country’s leadership had never placed any stake on any candidates.
“All the officials, from the president to the foreign minister, including other people responsible for foreign policy, have never placed any stakes and have always made very clear statements that Russia is ready to work with a president and a government, which will be elected by the people of any state,” the diplomat added.
Russia was not able to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election and had not made such efforts, Lavrov said adding that it could be proven by the absence of any evidence despite the fact that the US political system could be characterized by relatively regular leaks of information about such sensitive investigations like the inquiry on the issue being conducted by Washington.
The official added that despite all the difficulties and the need to make concessions, the US president exerts efforts to stand pat.
“He has repeatedly confirmed his sincere intention to abide by the statements he made during his election campaign — to develop normal relations with Russia based on mutual benefit and mutual respect,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
According to the minister, the US Democratic Party has not managed to take the defeat in the 2016 vote and has been exerting efforts to “embitter the life” of their Republican partners and Trump.
“It is obvious that the Democrats are not able to calm down after the defeat, which has become completely unexpected for them and now they are trying to embitter the life of Donald Trump, as well as of the whole Republican Party. I think that they are not able to do it to the extent they want,” Lavrov said.
At the same time, the Russian top diplomat expressed regret that the relations between Moscow and Washington had deteriorated during the first year of Trump’s tenure adding that Russia was engaged in launching legal proceedings against the United States that had seized Russia’s diplomatic property on its soil.
Republican candidate Trump was elected the president of the United States in 2016 election defeating the Democratic Party’s candidate Hillary Clinton. Soon after the vote multiple US media outlets, officials, lawmakers and intelligence community members have accused Moscow of meddling in the US presidential election, which spurred on a series of allegations about Russia’s interference in the elections of other states. Russian officials have repeatedly refuted the claims, pointing out that they had never been substantiated. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the accusations groundless.
Since Trump’s victory the Russian-US relations have significantly deteriorated over a number of issues including alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US vote, a row against Russian diplomatic property in the United States that started after introduction of a new package of the anti-Moscow sanctions by Washington, as well as US pressure on Russian media.