Relations With US and Russia Terrible Despite Mutual Respect Between Trump, Putin and Medvedev
Sergey Brilev: The election is coming, but it's about cybersecurity, you see. Well, as for me. I'd like to ask you one and a half questions. It's about «traditionally friendly» Russian-American relations. I just want to check something. Some of my colleagues here host weekly TV shows. Those short meetings between Trump and Putin in Vietnam happened right before the weekend, so all the weekend shows were devoted to the thorough examination of them. We tried to guess what kind of person Trump was, and why he was constantly altering his point of view during his Asian tour. While we were making assumptions, you actually met with Trump in person two days later, at the Philippines summit. We all remember this handshake. But still you both had a chat. What kind of person is he? Do you think we can deal with him?
Dmitry Medvedev: Well, you see, it was a very brief talk. It always happens like this at such events. The president had a similar conversation with him before me. Like I said before, judging by his appearance, he is a friendly person who wants to establish good relationships. He seems like a reasonable politician who understands what's happening in the world. Indeed, we even discussed some issues during the official dinner. He remembered how our countries cooperated during WWII. He admitted that cooperation was important for both Russia and the USA. So, it seemed like we had established contact. President Putin also said that Trump was friendly during a personal talk. However, the problem is not about personal relations, although they are important, but they are not as important as the decisions we make. They don't influence much the atmosphere which has been established. And if we have a look at the atmosphere of relations between the USA and Russia, we'll see that it is really bad. I'd say it's unacceptable. It's been the worst since I remember, and I remember Brezhnev's meetings with various US presidents. This is really bad.
Sergey Brilev: OK, let me expand on it. You've already mentioned the things that matter in US inner politics, like Russia has been portrayed as a kind of monster recently, and American politicians use this image for their own purposes. For example, lately, the RT TV Channel has had its US Congressional accreditation withdrawn.
Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, I know about it.
Sergey Brilev: And I don't have the faintest idea in what way RT’s Congressional accreditation could threaten US national security. It's been said many times that it's all Russia's fault, although it's debatable who's started it first.
Irada Zeynalova: We're very powerful, so, that's why?
Sergey Brilev: It has come to reducing the staff of diplomatic missions. Washington officials say it started when Russia interfered in the US presidential election, which Russia denies it. What do you think, have we lost a chance to fix those relations, both on the personal and official levels? Were there hopes for a different situation when Trump won?
Dmitry Medvedev: Well, concerning Russia's fault, we have made our point many times. I can only repeat what I have already said. We can discuss what powers or states were involved, but it doesn't matter whose fault it was. The question is what to do with that. We've made it clear to everyone that we haven't done anything to spoil our relations. It's not the point. Now, it's important to find the solution. You ask me if we have lost the chance. I think there's always a chance. The president and MFA speakers have already stated that. As for me, I've done it as well. It is important to start adequate communication on vital issues. You see, the representatives of large-scale American companies would talk to me in person. About a dozen of Americans are the members of our Foreign Investment Advisory Council. All of them are the top managers of companies costing billions of dollars. None of them has ever raised any political issue. They say that they want to work with us, they want to operate in the Russian market. So, business wants peace. In terms of personal relations, they are still better than the policy pursued by Washington establishment. It affects negatively Trump's work as well.
Sergey Brilev: They see it all as if they are looking through a distorting mirror.
Dmitry Medvedev: Well, we get the feeling that some American politicians are trying to solve their own problems at our expense. They're trying to impact their president by playing the Russian card. This hasn't happened in recent US history, at least, I can't remember anything like this happening. Maybe, it’s similar to the 1950s, with the McCarthy era. Even back then, no one would dare attack the US president.