Bolton’s sacking won’t change US foreign policy but Russia is always ready to talk – Kremlin

Moscow is ready to do its part in mending ties with Washington, although it doesn’t believe than John Bolton’s abrupt departure from the White House is likely to alter anything about US foreign policy.

With Bolton gone, pundits around the world are trying to guess if this provides an opportunity to resolve some of the diplomatic deadlocks the US is stuck in. But Russia doesn’t set its expectations too high, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told media on Wednesday.

We don’t think that the presence or dismissal of any official –even this influential– has a serious impact on correcting American foreign policy.

Nevertheless, Russia is determined to find a way out “from that dire state our bilateral ties are still in,” Peskov reiterated. But it always takes two willing sides for this to happen, which leaves Moscow to just hope that the US “will demonstrate political will sooner or later.”

Bolton is known as a die-hard Iran and North Korea hawk, but his views on Russia also never ventured beyond a Cold War mindset. Back in 2017, he made his case in a Washington Post piece, calling Russia’s alleged election interference “a true act of war.”

READ MORE: Bolton visits Ukraine, Belarus & Moldova, should Moscow be worried?

Bolton was also behind an array of controversial geopolitical proposals, from trying to pivot post-Soviet countries away from Russia, to suggesting that the US Coast Guard confront Moscow’s interests in the Arctic.

Commenting on that dimension, Peskov reiterated that Russia “was and will always be a great Arctic power, wherever Mr Bolton is set to be working.”

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Donald Trump announced Bolton’s resignation on Tuesday, tweeting a formal appreciation of his services that are “no longer needed at the White House.”

The President had, he stated, “disagreed strongly” on many suggestions put forward by the now-ex National Security Advisor.
Appointed in March 2018, Bolton was the US President's third national security adviser. Now, his deputy Charles Kupperman will take over Bolton's role until Trump finds a new candidate for the top job.

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‘Not our kind of shopping’: Kremlin says ‘buying Greenland’ strictly between US & Denmark

The Kremlin doesn’t want anything to do with the row between the US and Denmark over the ham-fisted proposal to sell Greenland, the spokesman for the Russian president said.

“This is not our business. We do not engage in this kind of international shopping,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday when asked about the Greenland debacle. The leaders of the two countries have been exchanging some irritated remarks lately after US President Donald Trump’s suggestion to purchase the Arctic island from its current sovereign was turned down.

“If we get this right, they have been rubbing each other the wrong way to some degree,” Peskov said. “Again, this is not our issue and we wouldn’t want to get involved.”

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Trump’s offer to buy Greenland from Denmark surfaced last week, but the European nation simply said it was not for sale. A few days and jokes later Trump suddenly canceled his scheduled visit to Denmark, which many of its subjects took as an insult. In his latest move Trump doubled down by calling Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen “nasty” for publicly saying Greenland was not for sale.

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‘This is their story’: Kremlin says scandal over UK ambassador is between London and Washington

There is no reason for Russia to comment on the row caused by a series of leaked memos in which the UK Ambassador to the US called Donald Trump “inept” and assessed his administration as “dysfunctional.”

The scandal is obviously “between Washington and London,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. “Let these two capitals deal with it. This is not our story,” he added.

The revelation raised ire in Washington, with Trump angrily saying that “we will no longer deal with him.” However, outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May assured that she has “full faith” in Ambassador Darroch. Nevertheless, some UK tabloids were quick to point fingers at Russia after Jeremy Hunt said London is also examining the meddling of a “foreign state.”

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Confidential emails from the UK’s ambassador Kim Darroch were leaked to the Daily Mail on Sunday. The cables described Donald Trump and his administration as “dysfunctional, clumsy and inept” among other characteristics.

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‘We are a patient country’: Putin spokesman says Kremlin keen on fresh Trump talks

The White House continues to act ‘illogically’ by failing to stage a new meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, Dmitry Peskov told RT, describing the broken relations between the countries as Barack Obama's legacy.

“We see lots of strategic questions on the agenda that should be tackled on the level of two presidents. There is no way for these problems to be solved on a lower level. We understand that lots of questions are coming from the American side that also should be discussed by the presidents,” Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s long-serving press secretary, told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze in a sit-down interview.

He believes that the absence of prolonged face-to-face talks between the two leaders since the Helsinki summit last summer has key issues "idling" and "contradicts the national interests of our two countries," adding that there is only so much Russia can do on its own.

"We can't be holier than the Pope," Peskov surmised, speaking in English.

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Trump abruptly canceled a scheduled sideline meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires late last year over the Ukrainian ship incident near Kerch Strait between Crimea and mainland Russia, though the two held a brief informal chat.

The US president has announced that he may meet with the Russian leader during the upcoming G20 summit in Japan later this month, but Peskov insisted that no official request has come from the White House, and reiterated that the ball remains in America’s court.

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"From the very beginning President Putin insisted that we were ready to go ahead as long and as advanced as our American counterparts are ready to. Unfortunately, now we see that they are not ready to advance at all," said Peskov.

”But President Putin is quite an experienced and quite a patient president of quite a patient country."

Peskov added that the Russian leader has made it his mission to “repair this damage that was done by President Obama during last month of his presidency."

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Unauthorized opposition protest was provocation, rally organizers lied to activists – Kremlin

Organizers’ claims to activists that Sunday’s rallies in Moscow and at some other locations were sanctioned were “false and provocative,” the Kremlin spokesman says, following a thousands-strong opposition rally in the center of the Russian capital.

He added that the Russian government was not concerned with the protests as such, but that using public anger over the perceived corruption of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to make people act in violation of the law was a serious issue.

“In fact what we saw yesterday in some places, particularly in Moscow, was provocation and lies, because those who claimed on the previous day in pseudoacademic language that the event was lawful and in no way violated the law – they were telling blatant lies,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday.

READ MORE: Hundreds detained at unsanctioned opposition rally in central Moscow (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

“The Kremlin respects the civil position of the people and their right to express this position… But we cannot respect those who deliberately misguide people, those who did it yesterday and the day before yesterday, provoking them into illegal activities,” he said.

“We cannot respect those who deliberately misguided minors, children in fact, by agitating them, promising certain rewards for taking part in an unsanctioned event, exposing them to harm,” he added.

Hundreds join anti-corruption rally in Yekaterinburg on March 26, 2017. © Ruptly

The Russian Investigative Committee said on Monday that it has evidence that the organizers of an unsanctioned rally in Moscow offered monetary incentives for taking part, which particularly targeted underage participants.

Peskov also rejected calls by foreign countries and organizations, particularly the US and the Council of Europe, to release protesters detained on Sunday. The spokesman said that Russia’s international commitments “do not transfer into an obligation to violate its own law.”

On Sunday, a series of opposition rallies were held across Russia to protest the alleged corruption of PM Medvedev, which had been reported weeks earlier by opposition figure Aleksey Navalny. Many of the protests were in violation of Russian regulations on public gatherings, which require organizers to receive permission from the authorities to avoid schedule conflicts and overcrowding.

The event in central Moscow was one of the unsanctioned rallies. The mayor’s office suggested two alternative sites for the protest, but organizers rejected them and called on their supporters to come to the original location, despite the ban. Police detained some 500 people during the protest, which involved some 8,000 people, according to police estimates.

Navalny was among those detained and is now facing charges of organizing an illegal rally. During a court hearing on Monday, he argued that the alternative locations were offered too late to inform supporters, and that therefore protesting at the location he and other organizers originally requested was lawful.

“I went as was my right. There was nothing unsanctioned about it. The people were calmly going down Tverskaya Street [in central Moscow], and I was detained for some reason. I did not break any law,” he argued during the proceedings.

Peskov said it was regrettable that people wishing to protest were not informed about the alternative  locations.

The handling of the rally has been criticized by some foreign nations and organizations. The EU claimed that the Russian police “prevented the exercise of basic freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, which are fundamental rights enshrined in the Russian constitution.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the criticism over the detention of protesters an example of double standards.

“When the same sort of events leads to different reactions, one can only think about double standards,” he said. “I don’t recall anyone publicly expressing outrage over the decisions that were taken not long ago in Austria, the Netherlands, [and] Germany, where the authorities decided to ban certain rallies.”

He was referring to the bans imposed in several European cities on rallies sponsored by the Turkish government. Ankara was angered by obstructions to its campaigning for a referendum which would add further powers to the office of the Turkish president.

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Kremlin Rejects Links between Trump and Russian Intelligence

The Kremlin rejected today the versions on a supposed link between US president Donald Trump''s team and the Russian intelligence, considering that it has no basis at all.

I recommend avoiding the reading of morning newspapers and not trust certain information, as every day it becomes more difficult to determine what is true and what is a forgery, presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said.

The US media say they are based on five different sources, but they do not mention any, he said.

They are just press reports that are not based on any concrete evidence, Peskov said.

The New York Times newspaper cites officials who would have revealed the contents of intercepted phone calls between members of Trump's team and Russian intelligence before the start of the election campaign in 2016.

The Foreign Ministry called for a careful analysis of the reports in the US press, because within that country, he said, there is a political uproar over the new administration of the White House.

Trump carried out his electoral campaign by stating he wanted to improve ties and cooperate with Russia in the fight against terrorism, as well as with promises of a possible recognition of the will of the people of Crimea.

However, in recent days, it has placed Iran as the number one country in sponsoring terrorism, which Moscow disagrees with, while expressing its hope that Crimea will once again become part of Ukraine.

In March 2014, the vast majority of Crimean people voted in a referendum for the independence of the peninsula and its return to the sovereignty of Russia, which it belonged to until 1954.

Even so, Trump's team is in the midst of attacks from the press that criticizes him for his fears of approaching Russia.

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