The Kremlin says that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “ready” to meet US President Donald Trump but the preparations for such a meeting will take some time. “This will not be in coming weeks, let’s hope for the best — that the meeting will happen in the coming months,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Saturday.
Trump became to 45th US president on Friday after taking the oath of office on the steps of the US Capitol during a momentous event marred by massive protests against his divisive rhetoric. He added that so far there have been no talks between Moscow and Washington on the subject but this will change after the two leaders talk over the phone.
“President Putin will call President Trump after the inauguration to congratulate him. It’s a protocol thing that has to be done,” he said. “We expect that they may discuss their positions on a possible meeting,” he added.
Peskov went on to note that it would be “a big mistake” to think that Russia-US relations will be “free of contradictions and disputes” during Trump’s presidency. “We indeed are the two biggest countries in the world. And we can’t live without frictions, conflict of interests.”
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow and Putin have time and again stated that Russia is “ready to walk its part of the path to move the dialogue with Washington into constructive mode.” The ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated over the conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014 and the crisis in Syria.
The United States, the European Union and some other Western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia over accusations that Moscow has been involved in the crisis in Ukraine, which has killed nearly 10,000 people to date. The Kremlin strongly rejects the allegations.