Kremlin sees no prospects for better US ties after mid-term elections


Reuters, Moscow :
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that it saw no prospects for an improvement in relations between Russia and the United States following the U.S. midterm elections in which the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives.
The House victory will give the Democrats the opportunity to block President Donald Trump's agenda and open his administration to intense scrutiny, and congressional sources say the Democrats will try to harden U.S. policy towards Moscow.
Trump's fellow Republicans expanded their majority of the U.S. Senate in the Tuesday vote.
"We can say with a large amount of confidence that of course no bright prospects for normalising Russian-American relations can be seen on the horizon," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
Peskov said it was up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump to continue dialogue.
The two leaders will meet briefly in Paris next week, Peskov said on Tuesday, and could have a longer meeting at the summit of the Group of 20 nations in Argentina at the end of the month.
Speaking after Democrats took control of the lower house of Congress in a rebuke to US President Donald Trump during midterm elections, Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov painted a pessimistic picture of relations.
"Rosy prospects for the normalisation of Russian-US ties are not visible on the horizon," he told reporters.
"But that does not mean that we are not aiming for dialogue, that we don't want dialogue, because we are facing a lot of problems," he said, referring to arms control as one of outstanding issues.
"These problems will not disappear without talks."
Peskov sought to downplay concerns that the midterm result would further complicate Washington's ties with Moscow, saying that bilateral relations were already tricky and stressing that Moscow had not interfered in the US vote.
On Tuesday, the United States also said it was preparing fresh sanctions against Moscow over the attempted assassination in Britain of a former spy, after a previous round sowed chaos on Russian markets.
Three months after the United States declared that Russia violated a US law that seeks the elimination of chemical and biological weapons, the State Department told Congress in a legally-mandated follow-up that Moscow had not come into compliance.