MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Zakharova said at a press briefing Russia sees opportunities for improvement of its relations with the United States, and is calling on Washington to do so.
"We do not only see … but we say in the most active fashion, we urge and propose, we never closed doors to the United States, even during the previous administration, so even in these times, the strangest ones, we always said that mutually beneficial interaction and cooperation were the priority," Zakharova told a briefing when asked whether Moscow saw opportunities to improve relations.
The Russian-US relations have been in turmoil since 2014 when the Ukrainian crisis broke out and Crimea reunifed with Russia. Washington then imposed several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions.During the 2016 US presidential race and after Trump's victory, a number of US media outlets, including The Washington Post, and politicians, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, made allegations about collusion between Trump's team and Russian officials, such as former Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
In a response to allegations, the administration of former US President Barack Obama in December 2016 imposed a set of punitive measuresagainst Russia, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of the two Russian diplomatic compounds.
Russian officials have denied the allegations of meddling in the US election and the White House had also reaffirmed that there was no proof for allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow during the election.
After US Senate approved a bill in July that imposes sweeping sanctions on Russia and seeks, in particular, to target companies that invest in Russian energy projects, that was later signed into law by President Donald Trump, the Russian Foreign Ministrysuspended the use of all US Embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow and also offered the US to cut down the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people by September 1.