New Delhi | Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Wednesday said there was no trust between Russia and the US and that Washington has not expressed any willingness to solve the election-meddling issue through an “inter-agency process”.
“Because there is no such thing as ‘trust’ between Moscow and Washington, we cannot just take as something granted of what we hear from Washington on these issues,” he said during a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue 2019 in New Delhi.
“And like Mueller’s investigation, we haven’t seen anything during these two years that underpin claims of US officials that Russia is ‘guilty’,” he added.
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump‘s one-time presidential campaign chairman, admitted in a court filing in the US on Tuesday that he provided 2016 campaign’s polling data to a Russian, who has ties with intelligence agencies.
“I understand that many in the US strongly believe in Russia’s wrongdoing with regards to election meddling, hacking or whatever,” Ryabkov said.
“We have offered countless times to this (Trump) administration and a dozen of times to the Obama administration to deal with it in a very pragmatic manner, to go through inter-agency process, to deal with IP addresses with individuals and institutions. The answer is no. Or, alternatively, there is no answer” he said.
The findings of the US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election are yet to come out.
While discussing matters related to Iran and Syria, Ryabkov on Wednesday said that notions of “regime change” and “unilateral action” should not be discussed lightly.
“It’s striking for me to be present in this room and kind of listen to a debate where notions of regime change and imposition of unilateral sanctions are being kicked around as something generally acceptable, very normal, very usual, very standard,” Ryabkov said.
“The chances for yet another regime change are being discussed by think-tankers, politicians, in a sober quiet and cold manner. Something is wrong in the mindset of the people today. But let’s limit my comments to this,” he added.