MOSCOW — The Kremlin said it hopes Jon Huntsman, the new US ambassador to Russia who presented his credentials to President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, will help improve relations between the two nations.
“President Putin is consistently in favor of reviving our bilateral relations, establishing connections and developing bilateral cooperation. He thinks this is not just in the interests of the people of our two nations, it’s in the interests of the whole world,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked by CNN about Huntsman’s arrival.
He continued: “And President Putin is truly consistent in this opinion.”
Peskov stressed on his regular call with reporters Tuesday he hopes the US also wants bilateral cooperation with Russia.
“At the same time (Putin) repeatedly stressed that it’s impossible to realize such intentions solo, without a partner. So far there are certain problems concerning mutuality,” he said. “Of course, we hope that with the new ambassador, at the very least the US diplomatic mission in Moscow can make its strong contribution to restoring our relations from all the damage that was done because of the actions of Washington.”
Huntsman, a former Utah governor and US ambassador to China during the Obama administration, took the position as tension between the US and Russia has escalated in recent years, from the US rebuke of Russia’s human rights situation to its opposition to Russian military involvement in Ukraine and Syria.
President Donald Trump struck a conciliatory tone toward Russia during the campaign, and the US intelligence community accused Russia of trying to influence the election to help Trump’s candidacy. Congressional committees and a Department of Justice special counsel are investigating alleged Russian interference and any potential coordination between Trump associates and Russia.