American Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said Thursday that the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report has led to a "slightly improved environment" for conducting relations with Russia.
"The estrangement which we've experienced in the bilateral relationship has gone on too long," Huntsman said in an interview with Public Radio International's "The World." "And the estrangement can lead to bad conclusions — always assuming the worst in the other, which is long term, I think, potentially extremely dangerous. So, opening up new channels that, maybe, this kind of slightly improved environment will allow us to do, I think would actually be a good thing."
The former Utah governor and presidential candidate has largely avoided discussing the Mueller report in public, but he did mention asking for, and not receiving, an early copy.
"I think many on the Russian side conclude that maybe this is the magic elixir and all of our issues are all of a sudden solved, and we have to remind them that, 'No, this does not solve any of our issues,'" Huntsman said. "We still have a lot of the underlying challenges and problems that brought us to where we are today, that brought about the unprecedented level of sanctions and the deterioration in our diplomatic presence that we see both in the U.S. mission here, and also on the U.S. side for Russia."
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