Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said former president Barack Obama's administration "put this time bomb in U.S.-Russian relations"
Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) arrives for a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle), photo: AP/Craig Ruttle
22 of September 2017 19:45:14
UNITED NATIONS – Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria."Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russia interfered in the U.S. election to ensure victory for President Donald Trump — "but we do not see any facts."When he asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson how Russia could confirm his words that Moscow interfered in the U.S. election process, Lavrov said Tillerson replied: "I cannot show you anything because this is confidential information.'"Russia's top diplomat said he can't believe this because "first and foremost the United States has all the information leaking all the time." And he said with so many people involved in hearings and investigations related to the alleged Russian meddling, "it cannot be that not a single fact has leaked. It would have leaked."
Lavrov said Russia would welcome any efforts at mediation, saying "the mediators could be one of the neutral European countries." He added that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has talked about mediation and said if he received such a request "he would try to fulfill that."The Russian minister said he had no new initiatives to bring the two sides together, explaining that he believes "the potential" for the Russian-Chinese freeze-for-freeze proposal "is not yet exhausted." It would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises, but the Trump administration has rejected it.Lavrov was asked whether he saw a link between the crisis in North Korea and Trump's threat to pull out of the 2015 agreement to cap Iran's nuclear program.He stressed that all other parties to the deal, including Russia, support the agreement and don't want it reopened."Right now, North Korea is being told, renounce nuclear weapons and we will lift the sanctions," Lavrov said.If the Iran nuclear deal falls apart, he said, "then North Korea would say, 'why do I need to negotiate with you if you do not carry out your promises?'"
Russia's foreign minister likened the war of words between Donald Trump and Kim John Un to a kindergarten fight. https://t.co/y5OitORsN4— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) 22 de septiembre de 2017
EDITH M. LEDERER