The Kremlin said on Thursday U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy approach was “phenomenally close” to that of President Vladimir Putin, giving Russia hope that tattered U.S.-Russia relations could gradually be improved.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking in New York, said he saw incredible similarities between the two men’s foreign policy ideas, and this meant there was a solid basis to start a meaningful dialogue between Moscow and Washington.
Peskov, in the United States for a chess tournament, said he was struck by how similar parts of Trump’s victory speech were to a speech Putin gave in southern Russia last month.
Both men said they would put their own country’s national interests first, but that they would be ready to develop ties with other nations, depending on how ready other countries were to deepen relations themselves.
“They (Putin and Trump) set out the same main foreign policy principles and that is incredible,” Peskov said in comments broadcast by Russian state TV’s Channel One on Thursday evening.
“It is phenomenal how close they are to one another when it comes to their conceptual approach to foreign policy. And that is probably a good basis for our moderate optimism that they will at least be able to start a dialogue to start to clear out the Augean stables in our bilateral relations.”
With Moscow and Washington now at odds over Syria, Ukraine and NATO, Peskov cautioned that it would take a long time before relations could return to a high level, however, because of how far they had been allowed to deteriorate.
“An atmosphere of mutual trust takes years to achieve,” he said. “It’s not possible to just declare that there is an atmosphere of mutual trust, especially after such serious damage was done in the last few years to our relations.”
Peskov told the TASS news agency separately that Putin was ready to be flexible when it came to mending ties which he wanted to improve, but that there was a limit to his flexibility and that he would need to see some U.S. reciprocity.
Peskov spoke after one of Russia’s most senior diplomats told the Interfax news agency earlier on Thursday that the Russian government had been in touch with members of Trump’s political team during the U.S. election campaign and knew most of his entourage.
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Trump Thinks He Can Make Agreemnts With Rusia
By Rob Robberson
In 2001, President George Bush issued a truly astounding appraisal of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB agent who has run Russia since replacing Boris Yeltsin in 1999. “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.” Bush got it half right. Putin was absolutely committed to Russia and Russia’s interests. But trustworthy? I think Bush’s own CIA and FBI specialists would have told him to read his intelligence briefs more closely before opening his mouth.
Today’s New York Times has a fascinating story about an elaborate Russian spy ring whose job was to pose as ordinary U.S. residents while gathering intelligence on nuclear weapons, U.S. policy toward Iran, CIA activities and congressional politics among other things. But don’t stop reading there. Comrade J, a 2007 book by former Washington Post reporter Pete Early, tells the fascinating story of Sergei Tretyakov, a former KGB officer who became a top officer in the KGB’s successor agency, the SVR, after the Soviet Union collapsed. I recently read the book and couldn’t believe my eyes. This is a detailed account of activities that Russian intelligence agents conducted in the United States for years after our leaders — mainly Bush and Bill Clinton — sorely mistook the supposedly democratic Russian leadership as our friend.
Clinton guffawed and slapped Yeltsin on the back during one famous, drunken episode on stage. Bush praised Yeltsin as a straight shooter. While we diverted our attention and intelligence resources to the war on terrorism after 9/11, Russian agents enjoyed a field day in this country. All the while, the Russians were directing serious covert operations in the United States designed to undermine our foreign policy, steal our secrets, rob us blind and tuck billions of dollars in assets away in private bank accounts. Tretyakov says he defected after realizing that his work no longer served the interests of the Russian state but rather was helping corrupt leaders profit at the expense of the people.
Why should we be concerned? Take a look at who owns 10 percent of Facebook (Digital Sky Technologies), and what his connections are to Putin, Alisher Usmanov and the activities described above. Then take a look at all of the mail.ru junk email caught by your spam filter. You can thank Digital Sky Technologies for that.
We think this is just a bunch of free-enterprise-loving Russian democrats enjoying the good life and making some money by spamming and scamming their way into American computers. We should be very concerned. When America faces its next big cybersecurity crisis, we will need to ask ourselves this important question: Why did we invite our enemy into our living room? Why did we hand over access to our nation’s computer networks to a group of thugs who do not even remotely share our interests? Try looking again into Putin’s eyes, President Obama, and ask whether you see what Bush and Clinton saw. Oh, wait, I guess you already did. And the answer is on the front page of today’s New York Times.
Tags: CIA, Digital Sky Technologies, Dmitry Peskov, I was able to get a sense of his soul, Iran, KGB, Middle East, NATO, Peskov, President George Bush, President Vladimir Putin, Putin and Trump set out the same main foreign policy principles, Russia, Russian government, Russian military, Syria, Ukraine