It seems Russia was ready and willing for a fresh start under President Trump only to be rebuffed by the new administration. Citing an official Russian document, BuzzFeed News reports the Kremlin—on the instructions of President Vladimir Putin—delivered a plan to the US State Department in April for immediate normalization of relations with the US. The plan would have restored military, intelligence, and diplomatic channels that were cut in the wake of Russia's actions in Ukraine and Syria. While the State Department isn't commenting, the Kremlin confirmed the authenticity of the offer to CNN. "Moscow systematically advocated for a resumption of the dialogue for an exchange of opinion and for attempts at finding joint solutions," a Kremlin spokesperson says. "But, unfortunately, it saw no reciprocity."
That Russia made such an offer shows it assumed Trump wouldn't be upset with its involvement in the 2016 election and would be open to normalization. “It just ignores everything that caused the relationship to deteriorate and pretends that the election interference and the Ukraine crisis never happened,” says a former national intelligence officer. A spokesperson for the National Security Council blames Russia's optimism on false media reports about Trump's love of Russia. However, Trump himself has expressed his desire for improved relations with Russia on numerous occasions. Regardless, the offer was never accepted and the relationship between the two countries has continued to go downhill. (Read more Russia stories.)