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Russia-U.S. Relations Unlikely to Improve With New Administration

Alexander Demianchuk / Reuters

Russian-American relations are unlikely to improve under a new U.S. administration, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday. 

Speaking at a conference on security and defense in Russia’s Federation Council, Ryabkov said that “for at least the next four years, a return to stable progressive and positive relations with the U.S. will be very difficult.” 

Ryabkov did not rule out the possibility for a normalization of relations with the U.S., but noted that “objective data bears witness to the low likelihood of that scenario.” 

Ryabkov’s comments about the U.S. were in line with those of his boss, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who commented about Russia-EU relations the same day. 

Speaking on the topic of possible new sanctions against Russia over its role in the war in Syria, Lavrov called such talk “cynical and indecent.” 

“Right now Syria is already being mentioned as another issue with which to catch Russophobes, and, speculating on people’s suffering, speculating on the humanitarian aspects of the Syrian crisis, it is possible to attract all the other non-Russophobes and drag them into another anti-Russian sanctions campaign,” Lavrov said. 

Last week, president of the European Council Donald Tusk said that the possibility of new sanctions over Russia’s involvement in Syria was being considered. However, after a summit of EU leaders in Berlin, no new sanctions were proposed. 

When asked about Ryabkov’s comments about possible Russian counter-sanctions, Lavrov told reporters that Russia would definitely respond if new sanctions were added.

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