Russian lawmakers mount fierce defence of Flynn

Russian lawmakers mount fierce defence of Flynn

MOSCOW — Russian lawmakers on Tuesday mounted a fierce defence of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, who resigned following reports that he misled White House officials about his contacts with Russia.

Michael Flynn resigned Monday night, conceding that he gave “incomplete information” about his calls with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

A U.S. official told The Associated Press that Flynn was in frequent contact with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the day the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia after U.S. intelligence reported that Russia had interfered with the U.S. elections. The Kremlin has confirmed that Flynn has been in contact with Kislyak but denied that they talked about lifting sanctions.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said in a post on Facebook that firing a national security adviser for his contacts with Russia is “not just paranoia but something even worse.”

Kosachev also expressed frustration with the Trump administration.

“Either Trump hasn’t found the necessary independence and he’s been driven into a corner… or Russophobia has permeated the new administration from top to bottom.”

Kosachev’s counterpart at the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, Alexei Pushkov, tweeted shortly after the announcement that “it was not Flynn who was targeted but relations with Russia.”

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on Flynn’s resignation, saying that “it’s none of our business.” Asked if Moscow still hopes that relations with the U.S. are going to improve, he said it is “too early to say” since “Trump’s team has not been shaped yet.”

The Kremlin earlier said that it was not expecting a breakthrough before the two presidents meet in person.

Fyodor Lukyanov, chair of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policies, a group of Russian foreign policy experts, told the RIA Novosti news agency that it is not yet clear whether Flynn’s departure could influence bilateral ties.

“There’s nothing to influence yet, there are no relations as such. Our countries have relations shaped by the former administration which were awful, and Trump was going to change that,” he said. “But who he is going to change it with — Flynn, or not him, (Secretary of State Rex) Tillerson — it is not clear right now.”

Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Vibrations of Hope raises $2,000 for Kelowna Women’s Shelter

A local female driven event succeeds in inaugural year

Big White announces new Slopestyle Invitational

The only North American Gold Level event begins July 5

An evening of burlesque, poetry and mystery descends on Kelowna

The Poetry Elf creates an immersive event that isn’t a typical burlesque

Last chance for input on proposed Kelowna bike lanes

The lanes, slated for Sutherland Avenue, could be built next year

Okanagan Lake not rising as fast as before: River Forecast Centre

Similkameen River flood risk shifts to rainfall, not snowpack

MLA pushing province and pharmaceutical to save Vernon woman

Cystic fibrosis patient can’t afford $20,000/month medication she needs to survive

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

Sun Devils second at Kamloops tournament

Kelowna bounces back from 0-2 start to reach the final of River City Classic

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read