Russia exhorts Trump to counter 'Russo-phobic' intrigues

Russia's top diplomat exhorted President Donald Trump on Friday to counter what he called "Russo-phobic" intrigues against him in the United States in order to improve ties between Washington and Moscow.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov didn't offer a specific course of action for Trump, whose presidential campaign is being investigated by an FBI special counsel for possibly colluding with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

He said any improvement in U.S.-Russian relations depends in part on "the preparedness and capability of Mr. Trump to counter the domestic intrigues which are directed first and foremost against him per se."

But Lavrov said he is convinced Americans will eventually tire of playing the "Russo-phobic card" and recognize it's in their interest to improve ties between Washington and Moscow.

Lavrov said in a wide-ranging news conference that this is especially important given the international security issues on the global agenda.

Asked about the new U.S. military priorities of countering China's rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia, he said, "It is regrettable that instead of having normal dialogue ... the U.S. is trying to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts."

"I would like to repeat that we are open for dialogue," he added.