Putin Sought Reset With Trump, US Military

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told BuzzFeed she could not confirm any conversations regarding the Russian proposal, but that the US was in favor of improving relations with Russia.

The Kremlin's chief spokesman said Russian officials made direct proposals to Washington about full normalization of ties between the two countries following President Donald Trump's election, but nothing came of it. He did not confirm specifics of the BuzzFeed report, such as when the proposals were handed over, to whom, and what specific steps they contained.

The desire to resume dialogue and look for joint solutions wasn't "mutual", he said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. "But, unfortunately, it saw no reciprocity".

Russian officials made little effort to hide their support for Trump during last year's USA election campaign, and the hope that the two countries would be able to mend fences after he took office.

The Russian Embassy in Washington declined to discuss the document. Nauert said the meeting provided an opportunity to "raise questions or concerns", but did not say if the two had resolved anything.

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The document, delivered by the diplomat in April and recently obtained by Buzzfeed News, called for "special consultations" on information security, the war in Afghanistan, the "situation in Ukraine", the Iran nuclear deal, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula - and completely restoring the diplomatic and intelligence channels that were cut off by the Russian intervention in Syria and Ukraine.

The US under then-President Barack Obama increased sanctions on Russian Federation following the country's alleged election interference, and moved to shutter some of the Kremlin's facilities in the US.

Amid the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Putin's desired reset was stopped in its tracks.

Trump met with Putin face-to-face in a scheduled meeting at the G20 summit in July then spoke again during an unannounced conversation at a dinner for world leaders during the summit.

Ties plummeted further in recent weeks as Moscow ordered Washington to sharply cut its diplomatic personnel in Russian Federation, and Washington ordered the closure of Russia's consulate in San Francisco.

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