Russia’s deputy foreign minister has expressed pessimism about the improvement of ties between Moscow and Washington even after the assumption of power by President-elect Joe Biden.
Speaking at a meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow on Tuesday, Sergei Ryabkov said Russia cannot hope for a “dynamic improvement” in bilateral relations with the United States even after the inauguration of an elected president in that country.
“Whoever ends up in the White House after January 20, 2021, I see no reason to hope for a dynamic improvement in Russian-American relations,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying.
“The inertia of approaches to Russia, which is embedded in the doctrinal principles of the United States, and in a whole series of legislative acts and other initiatives, which were nominated and passed through the Congress, and most importantly, the almost total coincidence of views on modern Russia in the American mainstream, leave no chance of moving along an upward trajectory, at least in the medium term,” Ryabkov added.
The Russian diplomat said Moscow and Washington needed to focus on analyzing the contentious issues that have accumulated in recent years, such as the resumption of the normal functioning of foreign missions and solving humanitarian cases.
“Unfortunately, given the peculiarities of the perception of Russia in the United States, it has not been possible to move forward in recent years and there has been a regression in many directions,” Ryabkov said, adding that, “This does not mean that Russian-American relations are hopeless… We need to focus on such a ‘cleaning action’ to clean up the dirt in bilateral relations.”
Relations between the two countries remain strained over a litany of issues, such as Syria and Ukraine as well as allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, which Moscow denies.
Republican US President Donald Trump has refused to concede defeat in the November 3 election and mounted multiple legal challenges to reverse the results in several key states after his Democratic rival was declared the projected winner.
Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College votes, which decide who takes the White House, by 306 to 232, according to media reports.
Legal experts argue the Trump’s lawsuits stand little chance of changing the outcome of the 2020 US election.
Moreover, the US government’s General Services Administration finally informed Biden on Monday to begin transition into the White House despite Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the latest election.
Putin not to congratulate Biden despite transition approval
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not congratulate Biden despite news that the Trump administration had approved the formal presidential transition process.
“No, that’s not enough,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked whether the transition approval was reason for Putin to congratulate Biden.
“You know that reviews and recounts in some states are still continuing, without which the results of the election cannot be officially announced,” Russia’s Interfax quoted Peskov as saying.
Putin’s press secretary added that “nothing has changed” since his initial comments two weeks ago that the Russian president would not congratulate Biden until legal challenges to the election were resolved.
A total of 16 states have certified the results from the November 3 election, with Michigan becoming the latest hotly contested state to give its electoral votes to Biden on Monday.
All challenges to the results must be resolved by December 8 and all 50 states must certify the results before the Electoral College meets on December 14.