14:44 GMT31 May 2020
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    The United States and Russia do not have a working relationship, but President Donald Trump thinks it is extremely important to establish one, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a press conference.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a press conference at the 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum that while the US and Russia do not have a working relationship at the moment, President Trump believes it is extremely important to establish one.

    “I think the president has been quite clear that he views it as extremely important that the United States and Russia have a working relationship,” Tillerson said on Tuesday. “Today we do not.”

    Tillerson pointed out that despite differences between the two sides, the United States is relying on Russia to help solve the crisis in Syria and denuclearize North Korea.

    "By and large, at the Security Council, again, they’ve [Russia] been very supportive of the sanctions," Tillerson said on Tuesday. "They’ve voiced their view of how effective they think those may be, but we do need Russia’s support."

    Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a briefing that President Trump trusts National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's assessments on foreign partners, including his views on the alleged dangers emanating from Russia.

    On Tuesday, McMaster claimed that Russia aims to create "crises of confidence" and uses very sophisticated tools, including cybertattacks and disinformation. When asked whether President Donald Trump agrees with McMaster's position, Sanders said, "General McMaster certainly is someone who understands and knows president's feelings and our relationships with foreign partners and something we certainly feel comfortable with him speaking about."

    Sanders noted that the Trump administration has from the very beginning been very tough on Russia, and has taken steps to put pressure on Moscow.

    Relations between the United States and Russia hit a low point amid US allegations that the Kremlin ordered a campaign to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. US Senate and House of Representatives committees are currently conducting an investigation into the allegations.

    Both Trump and Russia have denied any collusion during the election cycle. Russian officials have moreover repeatedly refuted allegations of meddling in the US election and characterized them as groundless and absurd.

    Former US Congressman Wayne Curtis Weldon told Sputnik earlier in the month that restoring relations between the Russian and US lawmakers was essential.

    Weldon emphasized that the relationship between the countries currently is far worse than it was when he was elected to the US Congress in 1987 from the US state of Pennsylvania.

    "The American and Russian people have far more in common than they disagree on. The question today is: How do we start that process that I was involved in and was a leader in. It's going to take time. It's very important that we bring back the relationships between the elected officials," Weldon said.   

    He stressed that there are members of the US Congress who want to know more about Russia and want to get involved, but the hysteria over Russia in the US corporate media prevents them from doing do.


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