A Russian official has now admitted that Putin and his administration were in contact with Donald Trump’s campaign throughout the election.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that yes, the Russian government was absolutely in touch with Trump and the campaign during his bid for the White House.
“There were contacts,” Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency on Thursday. He did not expand upon the details of these interactions.
Ryabkov was asked if the contact between Trump and Putin would continue or even increase now that the U.S. election had been won. The deputy foreign minister indicated that yes, these talks would continue.
These working moments and follow-up on this or that matter will depend on the situation and the questions which face us. But we will of course continue this work after the elections.
Trump’s ties with Russia came under fire on the campaign trail. Russia has been accused of being behind the DNC hack and interfering with the election on Trump’s behalf. Putin has vehemently denied these claims, but earlier this week, one of his own advisers hinted that Moscow had been involved. Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, was “jubilant” over Trump’s win and admitted, “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks.“
Putin was the first foreign leader to congratulate Trump on his after the election. Although Trump has said he might meet with the Russian president before his inauguration, Moscow has said there is no such meeting scheduled yet. Russian parliament cheered when they heard the news and Putin said, “Russia wants and is ready to restore fully fledged relations with the United States.”
Ryabkov said the reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry was more subdued but he added that they are hoping to normalize relations with Washington. He did point out that not everything Trump has said about Russia was good and it seems he has not forgotten that.
“We are not expecting anything in particular from the new U.S. administration,” Ryabkov told Interfax.
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