Kremlin: Trump Does Not Need to Lift Sanctions for Us to Talk to Him
Unlike Washington Moscow does not require the other party to capitulate before it will sit down with it
Putin's spokesman just explained yesterday Russia is willing to sit down with the US after Trump takes office whether he rolls back the recent sanctions that were instituted by Obama on his way out or not:
"Certainly, sanctions are an element that very negatively affect bilateral relations, but still even under the backdrop of sanctions, Moscow would, undoubtedly, welcome any prospect for dialogue and it is ready for that."
Is this a sign of Russian weakness? No what this means is:
1. Obama's Russia sanctions since the election are in the grand scheme of things irrelevant provocations and Russia is not bitting. The only US sanctions Russia actually cares about are the financial sanctions which date back to 2014 and which helped contribute to a big credit crunch its economy has been facing since then.
2. Russia still knows the meaning of diplomacy. In dealing with states it picks on US regularly insists talks are only possible if the other side will accept all of its major demands in advance, but Russians have a more old-fashioned understanding of talks where the point is to have a back and forth and negotiate.
3. It's a clue to Trump that if he opts to save his precious political capital for acting on more important stuff Russia will be disappointed but will understand.