Russian FM: President Obama Left Trump With A “Horrible Legacy”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Monday that President Barack Obama left a mess for his successor regarding U.S.-Russia relations, saying Obama allowed his personal feelings to impede diplomacy, according to Newsweek.
In remarks to the state-backed news agency TASS, Lavrov said, "He had this quirk of putting personal before state. He left Trump with a horrible legacy in relations with Russia, which still has a certain effect.”
Deterioration in relations between the countries during Obama’s tenure was driven largely by Russian interference in Ukraine and Syria, Newsweek noted — along with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and granting asylum to Edward Snowden.
The Obama administration responded with sanctions, “to which Moscow retaliated by ordering the U.S. to scale-back its diplomatic presence in Russia and seizing U.S. diplomatic properties.”
The U.S. responded in kind, removing some Russian diplomatic staff out of the country and seizing properties in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York, Newsweek reported.
Lavrov said those moves effectively "slammed the door" on any hope of cooperation.
But Trump — who has garnered strong criticism at times for his apparent friendliness toward Russia’s Vladimir Putin — has in some ways reopened the door.