LONDON (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Wednesday that communication remained “essential” in relations with the United States, amid tensions over Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“Communication is essential, in the future we will still have to communicate,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday, when asked about the state of US-Russia relations.
“The US is not going anywhere, Europe is not going anywhere, so somehow we will have to communicate with them.”
Relations between Russia and the West were already at one of their lowest levels since the end of the Cold War, even before Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in what it calls a “special military operation”.
The West responded with an unprecedented series of sanctions, and US President Joe Biden has vowed to make Russian President Vladimir Putin an “outcast” on the world stage. Russia has accused Washington of waging an “economic war”.
Peskov said the current situation made it “unlikely” that the two sides would return to what he called the “Geneva spirit” – a reference to a 2021 summit between Biden and Putin that raised hopes for a limited truce.
“Is it possible to return to the spirit of Geneva, when there was any hope? Hardly,” said Peskov. “It is unlikely that we can indulge in old hopes when we see what is happening now.”
He said future communication between the two countries – the world’s biggest nuclear powers – would have to be based on “mutual respect and mutual benefit”.
But he added: “This is not a topic on the short-term horizon.”