Moscow, April 11 (IANS) Relations between Russia and the US are at “their worst” since the Cold War ended, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry gave this assessment in a statement released hours before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was scheduled to visit Moscow on Tuesday for talks on the ongoing Syrian conflict.
Tillerson had said he hoped to work with Russian officials to find “a solution which will deliver a lasting political settlement” in Syria, Efe news reported.
Moscow blamed the prior US administration, headed by Barack Obama, for the deterioration in ties between the two superpowers, said the report.
The Kremlin said that Obama did “everything possible” to worsen bilateral ties, and added that Russia hoped that Tillerson’s visit would be productive in this regard.
“We are confident in productive negotiations. This is important not just for the future development of our bilateral cooperation, but for the general situation in the international arena,” the ministry said.
Recent spats between the two countries include tensions over issues like the Syrian civil war, Iran and Ukraine.
Former US President Obama decided to curtail relations and impose sanctions on Russian individuals and companies following President Vladimir Putin’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, considered illegal under international law.
The 2016 US presidential elections seemed to change the game after the eventual winner, Donald Trump, consistently praised Putin and called for better ties with Russia during and after the campaign trail.
Tillerson’s visit to Moscow, where he is set to meet Putin, marks the first official round of bilateral talks between both countries since Trump took office.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.