Putin: ‘The System’ Won’t Let Trump Develop Good Relations with Russia, but ‘Dialogue Is Needed’
June 23, 2019—In a June 23 interview with Russia’s NTV television host Irada Zeinalova, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again stated that he is willing to sit down with President Donald Trump to address strategic issues, but there are forces around Trump that are blocking that possibility.
“We see that the system is such that many things, which he [Trump] wants to do, cannot be done,” TASS reported Putin telling NTV. “Although, certainly, a lot depends on the political will.”
“Of course, dialogue is needed. They have their own idea of how these or other issues are solved, and we have our own. But it is impossible to find consensus without dialogue. Therefore, as soon as they are ready—please, we will be glad to develop these relations....
“Let them decide themselves whether they need to foster relations with Russia or not. Therefore, if they need dialogue—please, we are ready. If they don’t need it—we will wait until they mature.”
Putin had an exchange with journalists on this same subject, during his June 20 extensive “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin” broadcast, taking questions from millions of Russians. The full exchange follows:
“Q: Trump wrote on Twitter more than once that he would very much like to meet with you. Do you want to meet with him? And if you do, do you think the meeting will benefit this country in any way? Is he capable of improving our bilateral relations?
“Vladimir Putin: Dialogue is always good. There is always need for it. And, of course, if the U.S. is interested in it—I have said this many times—we are open to dialogue to the extent that our partners are.
“However, we understand, we see what is happening in U.S. domestic politics. Even if the President wants to meet us halfway in some respects, wants to talk about something, there is a host of restrictions related to the actions of other government institutions. This is especially true now that the incumbent President will be keeping one eye on the demands of the election campaign that he has already started.
“So I believe not everything will be simple in our relations, considering that part of the U.S. establishment is exploiting Russia-U.S. relations, trying to catch something for itself in this turbid water and inventing, as was mentioned here, groundless fakes by exerting efforts that are worthy of better use. And on and on, always the same.
“Therefore, as soon as our colleagues are ready we will respond accordingly, all the more so since we have a lot to discuss in international security and disarmament. I am referring to the New START Treaty that is about to expire and, in general, to the need to cultivate normal interstate relations in all areas, including the economy.
“After all, U.S. companies are not leaving the Russian market. They are working on it although the turnover is not big. But, as I have already said, under Trump our trade grew by $5 billion. It fell under Obama to $20 billion but under Trump, it increased despite all the restrictions and sanctions. As for sanctions, I think this is a big mistake on the part of the U.S. I hope they realize this eventually and fix it.”