KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin does not think relations between Russia and the United States will improve under Donald Trump’s administration, news agency Interfax Ukraine reported him as saying late on Tuesday.
The comments follow Trump’s choice of Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state - a decision welcomed by the Kremlin, which said Russian President Vladimir Putin and many other Russian officials have good relations with the Exxon Mobil Corp boss.
Klimkin said the United States’ relationship with Ukraine and Russia in the future would not depend on the secretary of state alone, adding that officials in the Republican party and members of Trump’s transition team had voiced support for Kiev.
“It is not just up to the secretary of state, but up to his whole team, who will deal with issues relating to both foreign affairs and national security and global economics,” he said.
“I do not support the idea that it will be easier for Russia to work with the new administration.”
Some of Trump’s campaign comments, from appearing to recognise Crimea as part of Russia to contemplating an end to U.S. sanctions on Russia, stoked fears in Kiev that Trump might mend ties with Moscow at Ukraine’s expense.
The United States and the European Union have imposed a range of economic sanctions on Russia as a result of its annexation of Crimea and its actions in eastern Ukraine that are reviewed every six months.
Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Alison Williams