MOSCOW — The Obama administration wants to find a way to stop the deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations, top Russian officials said here Monday after meeting with Tom Donilon, the U.S. national security adviser.
A letter from President Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin, conveyed by Donilon, “is written in a constructive tone and has a number of proposals promoting bilateral dialogue and cooperation,” the Russian leader’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters after the Kremlin get-together.
Ushakov said the White House is sending “positive signals” to Moscow, though he noted that Obama has not moved to tamp down the “Russophobia” in other parts of the American government, by which he meant Congress.
Donilon’s visit occurred after a weekend in which the United States and Russia each released lists of officials from the other country who were being barred from visits. The U.S. list, in compliance with the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, targets 18 people deemed to be human rights violators. They are also subject to financial sanctions. The White House opposed the Magnitsky measure, but it was passed overwhelmingly by Congress.