19 Oct 2018 10:57

Peskov: Putin-Bolton meeting being prepared, hopefully it will take place

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) - The Kremlin is preparing a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"Indeed, we are expecting to see Bolton in Moscow. Contacts are now being prepared. His [Bolton's] counterpart is Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation [Nikolay] Patrushev. The Russian Security Council is also preparing for this contact. There will be other contacts as well. Bolton has already met with [Russian presidential] foreign policy advisor [Yury] Ushakov more than once. Probably, I cannot rule out contacts in the Foreign Ministry either. But we are also laying the groundwork for a possible meeting with President Putin. And we hope that this meeting will take place," Peskov told the Channel One television station.

Russia's willingness to "build a dialogue with the Americans is bumping into quite a solid wall," he said.

"Occasional steps like, for example, Mr. Bolton's visit cannot mend this situation in full. But in any case we are not going to, let's put it this way, stop trying to look for ways primarily in line with our own interests to normalize and revive the dialogue with Washington. Indeed, there will be several international meetings that both Putin and Trump will attend. Whether it will be the World War I memorial event in Paris in November, whether it will be the G20 [meeting] in Argentina or other events, in any case the two presidents will be there at the same time. At this point, neither Moscow nor Washington is raising the possibility of a separate one-on-one meeting. No preparations for it are under way. But let's wait and see what Bolton will bring Putin from Trump, what he will tell Putin. And then some new groundwork will possibly appear," he said.

"The elections due to take place in the U.S. literally in a few weeks' time are certainly a serious constraining factor," he said.

"It has already become some national American entertainment to sacrifice Russia and Russian-American relations in favor of domestic policy. And the same will obviously happen now [...] On the whole, it is possible to say that this dismal picture in Russian-American relations is largely a by-product of the nitty-gritty of U.S politics. It looks like that there will be an exacerbation now. It can easily be predicted," Peskov said.