Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a new interview said that due to sanctions, the relationship between Russia and the United States is getting “worse and worse.”
Putin spoke about US-Russian relations in an interview on a state media outlet, just ahead of the forthcoming G20 summit being held in Japan later this month.
“They are going downhill,” Putin said, referring to his country’s relationship with the U.S, “they are getting worse and worse.”
“The current administration has approved, in my opinion, several dozen decisions on sanctions against Russia in recent years,” Putin added.
Putin intimated that US sanctions have had the effect of creating a stronger relationship between Russia and China. As a result, Russia’s trade with China has now exceeded $108 billion, which has surpassed the target trade amount of $100 billion.
“Unfortunately, we cannot say anything of the kind about our relations with the U.S.,” Mr. Putin said. “They are in fact deteriorating, getting worse by the hour.”
In the wake of the scandal over alleged US election tampering by Russian hackers, Putin said that he had a discussion with Trump in which the two talked about “forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit” to stop election hacking.
Trump has long voiced his skepticism toward Russia being behind election tampering in 2016, and has yet to condemn Russia, despite US security agencies and the attorney general stating that the hackers had close links to the Russian government.
An alleged Kremlin-linked group, known as the Internet Research Agency, was found to be responsible for social media campaigns aimed at steering the election. Further, US intelligence officials allege that another group, the GRU, a Russian spy agency, attempted to hack into computers belonging to the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton. Ultimately, this group transferred some of the documents it hacked to WikiLeaks, officials say.