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    US-Russia Relations 'Have Already Hit the Bottom', the Only Way is Up

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    Commenting on Saturday's phone conversation between Presidents Trump and Putin and the prospect for a further rapprochement between the two countries, political analyst Konstantin Kalachev told Sputnik that the ties between the US and Russia have already sunk as low as they can go, and so the only way from here is up.

    "The phone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump gives reasons for optimism that the relations between Moscow and Washington will continue warming up," Konstantin Kalachev the head of a Moscow-based Political Expert Group think tank told Sputnik.

    It is only too clear that for Trump, the fight against international terrorism and the Islamic State (Daesh) in particular is a top priority. He needs allies in this fight, and Russia has been chosen as a main partner," he further said, adding that the major outcome of the conversation is that the two leaders have topics for conversation and grounds for the joint partnership.

    He also suggested that the problems between the two countries should be solved step by step and it is already an achievement within itself that there are grounds for the talks.

    "We can say that the conversation went positively which is the first step in the right direction and a reason for optimism. In other words, we can expect that the relations between Russia and the US will improve further," the expert said.

    However he noted that there might be certain discrepancies between the two countries, with the Ukrainian crisis being one of these sticking points.

    "Ukraine nevertheless seems to be a secondary issue for Trump, while the threat of the international terrorism and Islamist radicals remain a priority. And it is quite easy to talk with Putin on these issues because the Russian leader thinks the same," the expert said.

    Kalachev also noted that as the bilateral relations between Russia and the US have already hit the bottom, there is only one way left, which is up. It can't be any worse, he said, they can only start to improve.

    With regards to the possible issue of the lifting of the anti-Russian sanctions, the political analyst doubted that this could be settled in the near future, however he suggested that there could be an easing of the punitive measures.

    "I don't think that it will be solved any time soon," he said.

    He further elaborated that Trump should first demonstrate the results of his partnership with Russia and only then undertake certain steps as he is also dependent on the American elites and on the public opinion to a certain extent.

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    Tags:
    telephone conversation, partnership, international terrorism, cooperation, Konstantin Kalachev, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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