MOSCOW — #Russia has been in contact over Syria with the team of President-elect Donald Trump, a senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday, suggesting that Moscow is already looking past the Obama administration when it comes to the crisis in Syria.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by the state-run Tass news agency as saying that Russia had been in contact with “several people that we have known for a long time.”
Bogdanov, who is President Vladimir #Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, declined to name the Trump team members, adding only that Moscow hoped that relations with Washington over Syria would improve under the incoming administration.
#Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was unable “to confirm information about contacts” between Russia and Trump’s team. “As far as we know, the new team of the president-elect has yet to be formed,” Peskov said. He added that negotiations about Syria and other conflict areas “are continuing with our partners of the current administration of the U.S. president.”
Bogdanov’s announcement followed the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., the oldest son of the president-elect, had private talks before the election with diplomats and politicians in Paris on collaborating with Russia to end the conflict in Syria.
Trump Jr. was one of about 30 people who assembled in a private room at the Ritz Paris on Oct. 11 for a summit arranged by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, a think tank run by Fabien Baussart, a French businessman known for ties to Russian oligarchs who has made overtures to Putin’s Russia in the past to resolve the conflict.