Russia offered a plan to the United States for full and immediate move toward normalization — or a restoration of diplomatic ties — between the two countries in the opening weeks of President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a BuzzFeed News report Tuesday.
The report was based on a document obtained by BuzzFeed, which outlined the proposal a top Russian diplomat made directly to the US State Department.
Asked about the report, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert would neither confirm nor deny its accuracy. Nauert said in general terms that the US and Russia share the goal of improving diplomatic relations between the countries.
A Russian official confirmed to CNN that the document was authentic.
“We are sorry to hear that documents keep leaking from the (Trump) administration, though it shows that Russia keeps doing its best to normalize relations,” the official said.
Earlier Tuesday, Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon met with his Russian counterpart in Finland. The meeting was their third of the year to discuss so-called “irritants” in the relationship. Nauert said the meeting provided an opportunity to “raise questions or concerns,” but did not say if the two had resolved anything.
The proposal, BuzzFeed wrote, called for the US to restore all channels — diplomatic, military and intelligence — that had been cut following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and intervention in Syria.
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SOURCE: CNN, Eli Watkins and Michelle Kosinski