18:18 GMT25 July 2021
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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKI (Sputnik) – Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Kremlin, spoke to the Rossiya 1 broadcaster to discuss a wide range of topics, including US-Russia relations, NATO, and the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

    "Unfortunately, a US president cannot say, we need to build good ties with Russia," Peskov told Rossiya 1.

    A US president must face "a hurdle in the form of other branches of power" and "the opinion of the political elites at home, which do not allow for any constructive approach to Russia," Peskov continued.

    "At most, we are hearing that 'we will talk to Russia where we think necessary, and, most importantly, we'll punish them if we have to.' We keep hearing this rhetoric," the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that it is "simply impossible in the US to talk about a good relationship with Russia."

    At the same time, the spokesperson said that the Russia-US summit in Geneva was largely constructive.

    "Constructivism dominated in Geneva. Can this constructivism immediately change the real state of affairs? Unfortunately, it cannot," Peskov said in an interview.

    NATO Destabilising Element, Created for Confrontation

    Peskov also commented on the current Russia-NATO relations.

    "This bloc was created for stand-offs, for confrontation," Peskov told Rossiya 1.

    "It does not bring any stability to the continent. On the contrary, it is a destabilising element," the Kremlin spokesman said.

    He mentioned Russia's relations with Turkey as an example that proves partnerships can and should be built between Moscow and NATO members.

    "Turkey is a NATO country, but at the same time, our relations with Turkey are an example of the fact that partnership even with NATO members is possible and needed," Peskov added.

    "Russia has always been interested in building constructive relations with NATO ... It is possible and necessary to speak even with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, because only in dialogue can one accurately communicate its concerns to the counterpart," the spokesman explained.

    Commenting on Eastern European countries' continuous deployment of US weapons, Peskov said that such "junior Europeans" further aggravate tensions.

    "When Germany and France try to reset the tuning fork, they run into this brick wall of unwillingness to normalise relations with Russia," he noted.

    "I’m not even talking about normalisation, I’m talking about merely trying to resume the dialogue that is so necessary for Brussels and Moscow," Peskov added.

    Defender Incident is a Provocation Planned From Overseas

    The recent incident with the UK's HMS Defender warship in the Black Sea was a provocation plotted from overseas to test possible soft spots in Russia's response system, Peskov noted.

    "In this case, the destroyer was just a tool of provocation. President [Vladimir Putin] explained that this is the way to probe bottlenecks, weaknesses in the system of border control, in the response system and so on. This is a deliberate and well-planned provocation," Peskov said.

    "I think that our intelligence, of course, knows who took the decision. But, of course, I think the essence of such operations is still planned by senior friends from across the ocean," he went on, adding that the response to this provocation will be harsh.

    Russia Won't Ignore Suffering of Millions in Eastern Ukraine

    Moscow will not ignore the suffering of several million people in Eastern Ukraine who were rejected by their own country, Dmitry Peskov highlighted.

    "In any case, Moscow will not turn a blind eye to the humanitarian problems plaguing several million people who were rejected and put into terrible blockade by their country. Russia provided humanitarian aid and will continue to do it," the spokesman told Rossiya 1.

    The main problem with the Ukrainian peace process is that Kiev refuses to adhere to the Minsk agreements and is trying to erase their importance, Peskov argued. At the same time, Kiev is trying to portray Russia as a participant in this conflict, which "is not the reality," the spokesman said, adding that Russia considers this "unacceptable."

    Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden, Turkey, Ukraine, NATO, US-Russia relations, US-Russia dialogue
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