Moscow ready to pick up positive signals from US

Moscow, April 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov has accused the US administration of demonstrating “conflicting behaviour”, but said Moscow was ready to develop and deepen its ties with the US.

The official’s comments were made during a visit by US national security advisor Tom Donilon to Moscow.

Ushakov said: “On the one hand, the Obama administration wants to actively develop ties with us in many areas, and that is quite a positive thing, but on the other, it does not want to fight for bilateral cooperation within the US, and does not want to rein in some Russophobes who are putting spokes in the wheel of our cooperation.”

Ushakov called the publication of a blacklist of Russian personae non grata by the US “something new in diplomacy” and “at odds with all the rules that have evolved over centuries”.

The US has published a list of 18 Russians Washington deems complicit in human rights abuses. The Russians listed will be unable to enter the US and any assets they own there will be frozen. In a mirror response, Russia published a list of 18 US officials banned from Russia.

Ushakov said every country has its secret blacklists, but no one has ever spoken about it out loud before.

Donilon earlier handed over a message from US President Barack Obama to Putin.

Obama’s message contains a number of proposals to deepen bilateral dialogue and cooperation, and Moscow will study them in depth, Ushakov said.

Moscow is ready to “pick up” the positive signals that are coming from the Obama administration, he said without elaborating.

Russia has always been willing to develop and deepen its ties with the US without any constraints, Ushakov said.

“All the constraints come from the other side; there are none on our part,” he said.

Obama’s message to Putin, “couched in a constructive tone”, touches on matters of cooperation in the defense and technology sector, including missile defence and nuclear issues, Ushakov said.

Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the US National Security Council, issued a statement saying Donilon held discussions with Putin, Security Council Secretary General Patrushev, Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Ushakov “on the full range of bilateral and global issues in preparation for the meeting between President Obama and President Putin on the margins of the G8 Summit and a US-Russia bilateral summit in early September”.prehensive and constructive,” Hayden said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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