Kremlin Denies Russia-US Talks on Lifting Sanctions

© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko / Go to the mediabankView of the Moscow Kremlin from the Big Moskvoretsky Bridge
View of the Moscow Kremlin from the Big Moskvoretsky Bridge - Sputnik International
The Kremlin spokesman said Moscow and Washington had not broached the issue of lifting anti-Russia sanctions.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — There have been no talks between Russia and the United States about the lifting of sanctions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

"We have already said that there have been none," Peskov told reporters.

On Thursday, The Washington Post newspaper reported that US national security adviser Michael Flynn allegedly privately discussed the issue of anti-Russian sanctions with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, before Donald Trump assumed office.

On Wednesday, Flynn denied allegations that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, however, on the very next day Flynn's spokesman said the security adviser was not sure that the issue of restrictive measures had never came.

The Kremlin monitors and analyzes international contacts maintained by the new administration in the United States, he said.

"Naturally, we are closely monitoring Washington's international contacts, we register the contacts that are carried out," Peskov told reporters when asked to asses US contacts with Japan and China.

"Of course, the analysis of what is happening on the international arena is an integral part of the daily work that takes place in Moscow," Peskov added.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ends on Monday his five-day visit to the United States. During his meeting with US President Donald Trump, Abe said Japan wanted to develop economic ties with the United States as well as to boost anti-terror cooperation. Trump reaffirmed US commitment to ensure stability in the Pacific Region as well as to protect Japan from the North Korean nuclear threat.

Last week, Trump also held his first phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which he agreed to honor "one China" policy implying that both mainland China and Taiwan are inalienable parts of the one single Chinese state.

Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.

The latest round of US anti-Russia sanctions was introduced in December 2016, with Washington claiming that Russia allegedly influenced the US presidential elections, something that Moscow has repeatedly denied.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated establishing a political dialogue with Moscow, particularly in regards to the fight against terrorism, and expressed readiness to build positive relations with Russia. Moscow has long been promoting the idea of fruitful cooperation with Washington.

After the leaders' phone talks on January 28, the Kremlin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the presidents had noted the importance of respect in relations.

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