On November 10, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov gave an interview to the Russian news agency Interfax.ru on Russia-U.S .relations and on the US presidential elections. The interview created a lot of interest in the U.S. media, which claimed that Ryabkov stated that Moscow had contacts with the Trump team during the electoral campaign. However, the U.S. media appears to have selectively translated Ryabkov's statements and sometimes took parts out of context.
Below are excerpts from Ryabkov's interview with Interfax:
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov (Source: Russianembassy.org)
'There Are People Who Are So Suspicious Of Russia That They Attempt To Discern Something Else There'
Q: "Have we had contacts or are we going to establish contacts with Trump's associates or with Trump himself?"
Ryabkov: "We are working on it and we worked on it during the election campaign. Of course, people who are part of his inner circle are known to us, for the most part. They are people who have always been in the limelight in the USA, who occupied very important positions. Some of them, though not all, maintained contacts with Russian representatives.
"The problem at the current moment is that stating such seemingly obvious things, such natural circumstances, has all of a sudden become a topic of some odd discussions and speculations. No sooner had the Russian president congratulated Trump than the talking heads on European and American TV channels began speculating 'what it means, why it was like that, and what would have happened had it not been this way,' etc. It's not normal. The diplomatic protocol and centuries-old etiquette dictate that a congratulatory, welcoming message is sent in a situation like this. Certain ideas are added to the congratulations, confirming, in this case, as Vladimir Putin did, our readiness to normalize, to further develop our relations. Dmitri Medvedev did the same in his congratulatory message to [Vice President -elect Mike]Pence. It's normal. Yet, there are people who are so suspicious of Russia that they attempt to discern something else there. How can this be overcome - that's the big question.
"We are not rejecting any opportunity for dialogue and cooperation, and we will be ready to start working in this direction as soon as our American colleagues are ready. But we do not want to hurry, or spur anyone. Everything should be done at a leisurely pace, on the basis of clear tasks that transition teams are now facing. These teams will now be created in all American governmental agencies. They are already being created. Kerry, for instance, mentioned one in the state department.
"So, when Washington, roughly speaking, is ripe, then we will be ready to swing into action straight away."
Q: "Did we have any contacts with Trump's team?"
Ryabkov: "We did."
Q: "And will we have any now? They must be becoming more active?"
Ryabkov: "These are things in the works, and the sequence of actions depends on the situation and the questions we face. We will continue this work after the election, of course."
 Interfax.ru, November 10, 2016.