President Donald Trump’s speech at the United Nations on Friday drew praise from fellow Republicans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and another more surprising source.
Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, told the Associated Press that he was pleased with the president’s views on “sovereignty and equality.”
“When [Trump] said that he respects sovereignty and equality in international relations and that the United States want to lead by example and not otherwise, and that the US would not impose it’s way of life on others and would accept the plurality of the nations cultures and civilizations, I think it’s a very welcome statement that we haven’t heard from an American leader in a long time,” he said.
Lavrov blamed the administration of former President Obama for the erosion of relations between Washington and Moscow which he said was begun by “the spiral of unfriendly steps started by the Obama administration.”
But he believes a better relationship is on the horizon.
“What I feel, talking to Rex Tillerson, is that this is the position of the administration, that they are not happy with the current state of relations, and we are not happy at all,” he told the AP.
He also suggested that the tit-for-tat removal of diplomats between the United States and Russia could be coming to an end.
“We waited very long with our tit in response to Obama’s tit,” he said. “Being serious people and responsible people, and I feel Rex Tillerson is one of them, I hope that we can draw conclusions from where we are now and understand where we want to be.”
And rather than chastise the president’s strong words against North Korea, the Russian ambassador tacitly indicated that Russia would step aside if the United States took military action against the rogue regime.
“We don’t doubt that the United States has capacity to do something very destructive,” Lavrov said.
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