Kremlin: US lacks 'desire’ to improve relations

Kremlin: US lacks 'desire’ to improve relations

The Kremlin on Thursday tempered expectations for a meeting between national security adviser John Bolton and his counterpart, saying it sees a lack of desire to improve relations, Reuters reported.

“It will be a chance again to discuss all the questions on our agenda that are well-known and to try and find the issues where there will be at least some readiness on the part of our colleagues to hold dialogue,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said ahead of the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, according to the news service.

“(But) at the moment we are seeing a certain lack of such desire,” Peskov added.

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Bolton is set to meet Thursday with Nikolai Patrushev of Russia. It will mark the first face-to-face talks between officials from the two countries since President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland last month.

Trump attracted widespread criticism for his handling of that meeting, in which he blamed the U.S. for souring relations between the two countries and cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Trump later attempted to walk back his comments and express confidence in his intelligence officials, but undercut his own statements by suggesting others, besides Russia, could have been responsible and repeatedly referring to the investigation by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE as a "witch hunt."

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have been on the rise since Trump met with Putin.

The U.S. earlier this month hit Russia with sanctions after it blamed Moscow for the use of a nerve agent on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain earlier this year.

The sanctions, which went into effect on Wednesday, will restrict the licenses granted for exports of national security goods and technologies to Russia. A second, harsher round of sanctions will go into effect in 90 days if Russia does not prove it is no longer using chemical weapons.