Kremlin denies any disappointments in ties with Trump

Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press

Moscow — The Kremlin denied Friday that it has grown frustrated with a lack of progress in improving relations with Washington under President Donald Trump, saying it’s too early to say what course Russia-U.S. ties will take.

Asked if the Kremlin was disappointed with Trump and the lack of quick progress in repairing bilateral ties, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “we never wore rose-tinted glasses, never had any illusions, so there is nothing to be disappointed with.”

He said the areas of possible cooperation and disagreements between the two countries could only be determined after Putin and Trump have substantial talks, adding that it’s not clear when that might happen.

“Only after they have a chance to have a detailed talk it would become clear where significant differences remain and where it’s possible to find areas for cooperation,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

Peskov dodged a question about Trump’s news conference Thursday in which the president blamed the media for trying to thwart his plan to improve ties with Moscow. Moscow believes “Russia-U.S. ties are important for our two nations and the entire global community, so we believe that they deserve special attention,” Peskov said.

Asked if the Kremlin watched Trump’s news conference, Peskov said Putin’s administration was too busy with its domestic agenda.

Peskov denied that Russian state-controlled television had been ordered to tone down fawning coverage of Trump, saying broadcasters don’t take orders from the Kremlin.

A change of attitude, however, was clearly visible in Friday’s news programs on Russian state TV, which gave little time to Trump compared with previous massive coverage of the U.S. president.

The shift in tone could reflect an attempt to dampen public expectations of a quick breakthrough in better relations with Washington that have been fueled by Trump’s victory.