While the rest of the developed world woke up in a cold sweat on the first official morning of the Trump presidency, the Kremlin said that Russia's Vladimir Putin was ready to meet President Trump but preparations for the possible meeting may take months, not weeks, according to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
"This will not be in coming weeks, let's hope for the best - that the meeting will happen in the coming months," Peskov told BBC, according to TASS. It was unclear if the previously reported plans on behalf of the Trump administration to meet with Putin in Iceland have been scrapped.
Peskov added that no negotiations between Moscow and Washington on the matter were underway, but this may change once Trump and Putin have a phone conversation in the near future.“President Putin will call President Trump after the inauguration to congratulate him. It’s a protocol thing that has to be done,” he said. “We expect that they may discuss their positions on a possible meeting.”
Peskov said that it would be "a big mistake" to think that Russia-U.S. relations will be "free of contradictions and disputes," during a Trump presidency. "We indeed are the two biggest countries in the world. And we can't live without frictions, conflict of interests," Peskov was quoted by Interfax was saying on Saturday. Critics of Trump worry about a possible departure from former President Barack Obama’s guarded policy towards Russia, with some even accusing him of being in cahoots with the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, in a scathing farewell letter by Russia's PM to Barack Obama, former president Dmitry Medvedev accused the US of warmongering, and steamrolling US-Russian relations in a blind attempt to promote its own interests while ignore the rest of the world:
"Everyone is aware that the United States has always tried to" steer" almost all global processes, brazenly interfering in the internal affairs of various countries and waging multiple wars on foreign soil. Iraq, the Arab Spring, Ukraine, and Syria are just a few examples of such reckless policies in recent years. We can still see their consequences, which range from the complete collapse of the political systems in these countries to wars which claimed tens of thousands of lives."
There is only one explanation for such actions: the interests of the United States. An explanation which is entirely defensible in America itself, though much less so in other countries.
But the real issue lies elsewhere– the failure to understand one’s own true interests.
The prime minister accused Obama of sending relations between the United States and Russia, to "their lowest point in decades" and predicting that "this is its key foreign policy mistake which will be remembered by history."
Medvedev concluded that "we do not know yet how the new US administration will approach relations with our country. But we are hoping that reason will prevail. And we are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship."
America's neoconservatives are hopeful that behind his pro-Russian bluster, Trump will settle in the same mold as his predecessor, keeping Europe on edge courtesy of constant NATO encroachment, and the revenue for US military and defense companies rolling.