Aleksei Navalny, Putin Critic, Is Sentenced to 20 Days in Jail

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The Kremlin said on Tuesday it hoped that President Donald Trump's new ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, could help breathe new life into battered U.S. -Russia relations.

Peskov noted that President Putin is a supporter of the restoration of the Russia-US relations and believes that this is in the interests of the two nations and the world, on the whole. Putin on Tuesday receives credentials from Huntsman among other new ambassadors to Russia. "We hope of course that led by the new ambassador, the U.S. diplomatic mission will be able to make substantial contribution to restoring our relations from the damage done by Washington's actions", the spokesman said.

"As far as bilateral ties with the United States are concerned, their current level can not be satisfying", Putin said at the Kremlin after he received diplomatic credentials from Huntsman.

"We stand for constructive, predictable and mutually beneficial cooperation".

Huntsman, the former Utah governor who once called for Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race, won easy confirmation as US ambassador last week. "We are convinced that at its base there must be strict adherence to the principles of equality, respect of national interests, non-interference in internal affairs", Putin said. The U.S. -Russia relationship has soured even further in recent months following a series of expulsions of diplomats and closures of diplomatic missions.

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Putin's remarks came three days after the U.S. Senate approved new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

This comes as a disruption in the plans by the long-time Kremlin critic to campaign before Russia's upcoming election.

In response, the USA suspended issuing nonimmigrant visas in Moscow for a week in August and stopped issuing visas at its consulates elsewhere in Russian Federation.

"We strongly protest this latest hostile act of the United States and reserve the right to respond. As we see it, by breaking in into our foreign offices, the Americans have essentially agreed to the possibility of similar treatment of their representative offices in Russian Federation", it added.

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