Executive Intelligence Review


Political Will for U.S.-Russia Dialogue Has Succeeded, Peskov Informs Media

July 2, 2018 (EIRNS)—Today Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters,

“No doubt, Moscow and Washington have many issues where their positions are diametrically opposed. But you see that now political resolve has prevailed, and at the moment, understanding is growing that such issues for discussion should not be an obstacle on the path to establishing and expanding bilateral dialogue, in this case at the top level.”

Peskov was referring to the July 16 Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki, TASS reported. However, he took issue with President Trump’s statement that he planned to discuss Crimea with President Putin there. Peskov emphasized that Moscow considers recognizing Crimea as Russian is non-negotiable

“The Russian President has stated many times and explained to his interlocutors that such an issue as Crimea cannot be, and will never be, on the agenda, as Crimea is an inalienable part of Russia. All other issues are a matter of consensus, for discussion and a search for possible common ground.”

Peskov said that President Putin “and Russia are open for dialogue and jointly searching for compromises,” TASS reported. He cautioned that an upbeat trend in Russian-U.S. political contacts is an encouraging fact, but that it is too early to speak of a thaw in relations: “Let us not rush to speak about thaws,” Peskov said, as first the sides must “discuss and review the differences and sources of major concern in bilateral relations.”

As to whether President Putin would meet with the five U.S. Republican Senators now visiting Russia, Peskov replied,

“So far there is no such meeting on the President’s agenda, but we know that the American legislators have planned very extensive meetings with their colleagues.”

The five Republicans include John Kennedy of Louisiana, John Hoeven of North Dakota, John Thune of South Dakota, Steve Daines of Montana, and Kay Granger of Texas. They arrived in St. Petersburg June 30 and met with its Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko. They go to Moscow on July 3, to meet with their counterparts in the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s bicameral Federal Assembly, ahead of the Trump-Putin meeting.