Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the U.S. says he’s impressed with Trump’s Russia approach

Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the U.S. said in an interview that aired Friday on “Rising” he was impressed with President Trump’s approach to U.S. relations with Russia. 

“I think we have found a way to build a neighborly relationship [with Russia] with mutual respect. I think one thing that President Putin and Russian society as a whole needs and craves is respect,” Elin Suleymanov told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Ned Ryun on Wednesday. 

“In some ways I’m actually very impressed by President Trump’s approach,” he continued.

“In some ways, he tries to find this balance between maintaining what he considers to be an important pressure from the United States, U.S. nationalities, and certain respect for both the nation [Russia] and [Russian] individuals. Finding that balance is very important. It’s important for the outsiders, it’s also important for the Russians,” he said. 

Azerbaijan and Russia have had a rocky relationship in the past, but have worked to improve relations recently.

Suleymanov’s comments come as tensions rise between Russia and the U.S. regarding Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. 

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been probing Russian election interference in the election since last year. 

Trump has referred to the investigation as a “witch hunt,” and has taken part in meetings with Putin since the probe launched. 

He created a firestorm in July during a meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where he blamed the United States for straining U.S.-Russia relations and appeared to accept Putin’s denial that Moscow attempted to interfere in the election.

The administration on Thursday indicted seven Russian intelligence officers on numerous federal charges for allegedly carrying out nefarious cyber operations against the United States and its allies.

The Russians are being charged with conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money.

— Julia Manchester