Kremlin hails 'positive signals' in US-Russia ties

By: AFP      Published: 06:29 PM, 20 May, 2021
Kremlin hails 'positive signals' in US-Russia ties

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday hailed "positive signals" for ties with Washington, after a meeting of the top Russian and US diplomats and Washington's waiving of some sanctions.

The comments came after a spike in tensions between the rival powers that has recalled the Cold War, and with Russian President Vladimir Putin and US counterpart Joe Biden preparing for their first summit.

On Wednesday, in the first high-level discussions between Moscow and Washington since Biden took office, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held nearly two-hour talks in Reykjavik with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Lavrov described the talks as "constructive" and "useful", saying both sides understand the need to mend ties.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Peskov said the fact it had taken place was itself "a positive signal".

He cautioned however that repairing ties "will not be easy".

"A lot of problems have accumulated," he said.

Also on Wednesday, Biden's administration waived sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the Russian-controlled builder of a Russia-Germany gas pipeline, which Washington has called a geopolitical security risk.

The move was aimed at defusing tensions with Berlin over the $12-billion project, and Peskov described it as a "positive signal" for US-Russia relations.

Although Lavrov on Wednesday did not respond when asked if Russia had formally agreed to the expected Biden-Putin summit, Blinken said he expected it to happen in the next few weeks.