Vladimir Putin calls for better USA ties as he meets new envoy

Saul Bowman
October 4, 2017

The newest U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, had his first formal meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin on Tuesday.

At a confirmation hearing before a Senate panel on September 19, Huntsman said that there is "no question - underline, no question - that the Russian government interfered in the US election previous year. We are convinced it should be based on the meticulous adherence to the principles of equality, respect of national interests and non-interference in domestic affairs".

Despite no official word from Putin, it's considered highly likely he will seek another term - having effectively been at the reins of Russia's government since 1999, either as president or as prime minister.

The spokeswoman called the USA campaign a "huge mistake", adding that Moscow had never expelled foreign journalists from Russian Federation by revoking their accreditation or ending their visas.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier Tuesday that the Russian president wanted to restore ties with the United States but stressed he could not do it alone.

The relationship between Russian Federation and the US has been marred recently by a series of expulsions of diplomats and closures of diplomatic missions.

"So far, there are problems with reciprocity", Peskov.

The Senate last week approved Huntsman's nomination by voice vote. Congressional committees and a Department of Justice special counsel are investigating alleged Russian interference and any potential coordination between Trump associates and Russia.

Huntsman has twice served as an ambassador. Moscow denies such activity and Trump dismisses any talk of collusion.

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