Putin Instructs Officials to Tone Down Anti-Americanism, Bloomberg Reports

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly instructed his aides to tone down anti-American rhetoric to give U.S. President Donald Trump “another chance” at improving ties.

Trump campaigned for the presidency in 2016 on a pledge to improve ties with Russia despite a U.S. intelligence assessment that Moscow attempted to meddle in the election. His efforts did not deter the United States from adding several Russian firms and officials to a sanctions blacklist and conducting airstrikes in Syria this month.

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Putin wants to give Trump another chance “to make good on pledges to improve ties and avoid escalation,” Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing four people familiar with the matter.

One source reportedly said the Kremlin “ordered officials to curb their anti-U.S. rhetoric.”

The news comes as the White House informed Russia that it delayed implementing additional sanctions on Moscow, an unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official told several news outlets on Wednesday.

Russian lawmakers are scheduled to debate sweeping counter-sanctions, co-authored by a majority of the State Duma’s 450 deputies, on May 15, after they return from recess. 

The countermeasures include giving the government powers to ban or restrict imports of U.S. goods and services ranging from medicines to software and rocket engines. However, the Kremlin has not yet said if it backs the measures.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

themoscowtimes.com