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Future of US-Russia ties remains uncertain

By Ren Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-21 09:36
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pose for a photo prior to their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a TV program on Sunday that the US authorities' position on many issues has changed and it is hardly possible to predict the future of bilateral relations for the next two years.

"Indeed, the position of (US President Donald) Trump and the US side on many issues is subjected to swift changes, that's why here some exhaustive clarifications should be made first.... Hardly anyone will have the guts to make forecasts regarding the future of our bilateral relations for the next two years," Peskov said.

Russia's Tass News Agency reported that although Trump has repeatedly voiced his wish to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not outline any particular proposals on arranging this meeting during this week's talks in Sochi, Peskov noted.

Earlier this month Trump said he will meet with Putin at next month's G20 summit in Japan.

Asked what message he'd like to send to Putin via Pompeo, who is set to meet with the Russian president in Sochi in the next few days, Trump said that despite what his critics may say, "I think the message is that there's never been anybody that's been so tough on Russia."

"It makes sense to get along with Russia," Trump said. "Nobody has sanctioned Russia like I have. Nobody has talked about the pipeline going to Germany and various other places like I have."

The US political network Politico.com said the meeting will be the first time the leaders have come face to face since the release last month of special counsel Robert Mueller's findings, which detailed extensive attempts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 election on Trump's behalf but did not find enough evidence to prove that Trump or anyone on his campaign conspired to aid in those efforts.

It also comes amid disagreement between the two countries over rapidly escalating tensions in both Venezuela and Iran, and on the heels of the missile tests by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kremlin responded they have not received a definitive decision from Washington on the matter.

"We know that Trump has spoken of his desire for a meeting, but unfortunately we also know that (US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo did not bring any concrete proposals about organizing such a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Osaka," Peskov was cited by Interfax news agency as saying.

Kremlin spokesman also said it's up to Washington to put forward the initiative on holding a bilateral meeting between the presidents.

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