Ex-Russian Envoy to US Kislyak Believes Russia-US Ties Not in State of Cold War

© AP Photo / Cliff OwenRussian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak
Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak - Sputnik International
According to a former Russian ambassador to the United States, the relations between Moscow and Washington can't be described as the Cold War.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Former Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak said on Saturday he did not consider the current state of relations between Moscow and Washington as the Cold War.

"No, it is not the Cold War. I am not sure that I have a slide rule with me to measure accurately the distance to [the Cold War]," Kislyak said to Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"You are right, there is no ideological opposition whether we build capitalism or not. But everything that we build has a human face, that is why it differs significantly from [what is done by the United States.] But this is not a very problem of our relations. The problem in our relations, what I have tried to say, is in the US nationals' feeling of absolute exceptionalism, and their alleged right to tell the others what is good and what is bad," Kislyak explained.

A car with diplomatic license plates drives out of a compound near Glen Cove, N.Y., on Long Island on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Russia maintains this and another weekend retreat for its United Nations diplomats about an hour's drive outside New York City — each in one of Long Island's old Gold Coast mansions. U.S. officials didn't clarify which of the two countryside compounds would be closed - Sputnik International
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The current trends in relations between Russia and the United States will remain for a long time, Kislyak added.

"Everything that is going on in Russia-US relations is a pretty complex issue, it will remain for a long time, because the world is changing. And it is changing in the way that the United States is losing its exceptional possibilities for dominating the world. Look at the economy. Russia is not at the level to compete with the US economy, but Europe is close, China is almost there. US exceptionalism is staring to sag," Kislyak told the Russian Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

Speaking about the economy, he added that the new sanctions against Russia will be very hard to lift in US reality.

"The economic sanctions that we have been discussing so much recently were made in such a way that it will be very hard in US reality to lift them. Even if it happens that someone decides to start meeting their requirements," Kislyak said, adding that the requirements themselves are "strained, sometimes even abusive."

He stressed that the entire mechanism was designed for the US law to prevent the development of normal economic relations with Russia.

On Thursday, Trump blamed the Congress for "an all-time & dangerous low" in relations between the United States and Russia. Trump was apparently referring to the bill he signed into law on Wednesday that included new sanctions against Russia and prevented Trump from lifting any current sanctions without congressional approval.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described the new sanctions as "absolutely illegitimate" and responded with its countermeasures, suspending the use of all US Embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow. Russia also mandated that the US cut the size of its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755people by September 1.

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