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Trump Tells Wall Street Journal He Is Open to Improved Ties with Russia, Including Lifting the Sanctions

Jan. 15, 2017 (EIRNS)—In an hour-long interview with the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 13, President-elect Donald Trump was asked about the Russia sanctions, and he stated that he would keep them "at least for a period of time," adding:

"Well, we’ll see what happens. I can say this: If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?"

Trump also said that

"I understand that they would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me.... If Putin likes Trump and if Trump likes Putin, that’s a good thing for the world. It’s not a bad thing for the world. Now, it could be that that won’t work out. Very real possibility. I’m not saying it’s going to work out. I have lots of good relationships. I have relationships that aren’t so good. It could be that it’s going to work out. And it’s possible that it’s not. That’s okay, too."

On the Russian side, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council Sen. Konstantin Kosachev, responded to the testimony of Trump cabinet nominees Rex Tillerson and Gen. James Mattis, by saying that he expects a more pragmatic policy from Trump than Obama, but that there would not be an 180 degree shift, TASS reported on Jan. 13.

"No one expects Trump’s team to radically change the U.S. policy towards any matter on which we don’t agree. But we expect them to be more pragmatic and try to come to terms with Russia. Russia and the U.S. have many fields where the two countries could cooperate, and their number is far more than the number of issues we view differently."