Russia: Contacts With Trump Team Has Not Led to Positive Shift in Ties With U.S.

Deputy foreign minister says nuclear powers Russia and U.S. cannot afford to keep relations at such a low

Putin meets his French counterpart Macron at the Versailles Palace, near Paris, on May 29, 2017.
ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP

Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow was concerned that contacts with the Donald Trump administration had not yet led to positive shifts in the relations between the two nations, Russian news agencies quoted him as saying on Tuesday. 

He also said that as nuclear powers Russia and the United States can not afford to keep their relations at such a low level.

U.S. Senator John McCain said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a bigger threat to global security than ISIS, and warned that the Senate would push for sanctions against Moscow for its alleged interference in the U.S. election.

McCain, a leading foreign policy voice in the U.S. Congress, was speaking in an interview in Australia, where he has held security talks on his way to a defence summit in Singapore.

"I think he [Putin] is the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS," McCain said in an interview on Australian Broadcasting Corp television.

He said while there was no evidence the Russians succeeded in changing the U.S. election outcome, they were still trying to change elections, including the recent French vote.

"I view the Russians as the far greatest challenge that we have," said McCain, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.