The Kremlin: Putin will be ready for dialogue with Washington if it shows willingness, and Russia has repeatedly called for good relations with the United States

Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday that Russia is ready for dialogue with the administration of the new US President, Joe Biden, in a meeting in which the differences are expected to be discussed, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin will reciprocate the United States’ readiness for dialogue.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have reached their lowest level since the end of the Cold War, as the two parties disagree on several issues, most notably the Russian role in Ukraine and allegations of Moscow’s interference in the US elections, which in turn denies it.

On Saturday, the United States called on the Russian authorities to release the demonstrators and journalists who were arrested from the demonstrations in support of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and condemned what it described as the “harsh methods” used with them.

“Of course, we count on success in establishing a dialogue,” the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying in a televised interview.

“This will be the dialogue in which the differences will be addressed on a larger scale, which are points of contention,” Peskov added. But at the same time, dialogue represents the possibility of finding some rational intentions, the subtle parts in which our relations converge.

He continued, “And if the current US administration is ready for such an approach, I have no doubt that our president will be responsive on his part”.

Putin was among the last leaders to congratulate Joe Biden on winning the US presidency after the November 3 elections.

Among the burning issues awaiting a solution from the two nuclear powers is the Arms Control Treaty, known as New START, which is due to expire on February 5.

The White House said last week that Biden would seek to extend the validity of the treaty for another five years, while the Kremlin had requested concrete proposals from Washington.

In his speech on Sunday, Peskov appeared to use a more conciliatory tone from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which, the day before, described Washington’s public support for anti-Kremlin protesters as interfering in Russia’s internal affairs.

Peskov confirmed this point on Sunday, but softened it using the phrase “indirect interference”, while at the same time he said the protests were illegal and that voters in support of Putin were much more than protesters.