Moscow has no illusions that after US President-elect Donald Trump takes office either NATO will stop beefing up its presence close to the Russian borders or sanctions against Russia will be lifted, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a televised interview with the Mir TV channel on Wednesday.
“We expect big constructive (relations). We do not expect all the issues to be solved. We do not expect America to refuse offhand from NATO expanding or from NATO beefing up its military infrastructure near our borders,” Peskov said, adding, “We do not expect the sanctions to be lifted offhand and we do not raise the issue.”
The Kremlin spokesman cited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stance, who reiterated that these issues were not on the Kremlin’s agenda.
“We have not initiated the sanctions dialogue and we will not initiate the removal of sanctions. Most probably, it is our partners’ problem,” Peskov said, noting “the sanctions would not hurt us as much but it would deal a bigger blow to the business community in Europe since our volume of trade with the United States has never surpassed about $24 bln, which is rather insignificant for such countries as Russia and the US. So in the end, the US has lost nothing but Europe loses the most.” He said that “European farmers, European car makers and others” are those who have been hurt.
“No-one will turn it down in an instant but given our partners show readiness to hold a dialogue so as to look for solutions and readiness to take into consideration each other’s concerns, it would be the best indication and it would be a new fresh approach,” Peskov said. “Logic dictates that if there is a problem, it should be talked over.”
“All levels of dialogue with the Unites States remain in a frozen state. We do not communicate or do it minimally,” Putin’s press secretary added.