Obama Left Trump 'A Horrible Legacy,' Russia's Foreign Minister Says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has blamed former President Barack Obama for the poor state of U.S.-Russian relations and accused the 44th president of handing his successor the product of his own failures.

Lavrov told reporters Monday that Obama allowed his personal feelings on Russia get in the way of diplomacy, and suggested that the current administration is paying the price.

"He had this quirk of putting personal before state," Lavrov said, according to the state-backed Tass news agency. "He left Trump with a horrible legacy in relations with Russia, which still has a certain effect," the top diplomat added.

Relations between Washington and Moscow deteriorated during Obama's tenure, driven by the Kremlin's military interference in Ukraine and Syria, meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, and offer of asylum to fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia in response to perceived malign activities, to which Moscow retaliated by ordering the U.S. to scale-back its diplomatic presence in Russia and seizing U.S. diplomatic properties.

In response, the U.S. ordered some Russian diplomatic staff out of the U.S. and seized properties in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York.

Lavrov argued that the president "slammed the door" by seizing Russian diplomatic properties. He also claimed that Obama was "resentful" over Russia offering asylum to Snowden in 2013.

Obama canceled a planned visit to Russia after the Kremlin allowed Snowden to stay in the country. Lavrov said Monday that "a very interesting document on strategic stability was being prepared for signing" at the canceled summit.

Lavrov and other top Russian officials regularly complain about the state of U.S.-Russian relations, almost always blaming Russophobia among American lawmakers and the media.

Trump has been criticized for seemingly cozying up to President Vladimir Putin despite Russian meddling in the 2016 election and destabilizing behavior elsewhere.

The president has publicly dismissed the conclusions of American intelligence agencies and Congress on aggressive Russian behavior and sought to thaw frosty ties with Putin and his government.

Nonetheless, extensive American sanctions remain in place on Russia and the Trump administration has retaliated against further Kremlin provocations.

In 2018, for example, the Trump administration seized Russian diplomatic properties in Seattle after a former Russian double agent was poisoned in the U.K.

Administration officials said that 60 expelled diplomats were actually working as spies and that there was an "unacceptably high" number of Russian intelligence operatives active in the U.S.

Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Sergei Lavrov, Trump
This file photo shows Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama at the United Nations headquarters on September 28, 2015 in New York City. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Getty
Obama Left Trump 'A Horrible Legacy,' Russia's Foreign Minister Says | Politics