- Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said President Donald Trump’s promises to improve US-Russia relations have stalled because of political firestorms currently engulfing the Trump administration.
- Speaking to international journalists on Friday, Putin offered a veiled criticism of ongoing US investigations, like the one targeting Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and said he believes Trump’s hands are tied because of that.;
- During his campaign, Trump argued for a warmer embrace of Russia – often ignoring bipartisan calls to acknowledge the Kremlin as an enemy of the US.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his hopes for improved relations with the US under President Donald Trump are all but dashed.
Putin blamed political firestorms that are currently engulfing the Trump administration, and offered up a veiled criticism of the ongoing Russia investigation, which he said prevents Trump from pursuing stronger ties with Russia.
Putin made those comments during talks with international journalists on Friday.
Indeed, the ongoing investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election has made it difficult for Trump to wrap his arms around Putin.
Trump’s promises during the 2016 campaign to take a more diplomatic approach toward Russia have been complicated in part by the main Russia probe being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, and inquiries into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Additionally, the steady drumbeat of news about Trump associates, near and far, entertaining Russian operatives before, during, and after the US election have also made the prospect of the US cozying up to Russia less likely.
Recent US sanctions on the Kremlin and the Trump administration’s move in March to expel 60 Russian diplomats from the US also haven’t helped.
Putin’s remarks on Friday show just how far his hopes for a restart with the US have diminished. It was less than a year ago that Russian state media declared “Trump remains Russia’s hope.”