Russia has described the firing of FBI director James Comey by US President Donald Trump as an internal matter that had nothing to do with Russia.
"This is absolutely a domestic matter for the United States, a sovereign decision by the US president which has absolutely nothing to do with Russia and cannot have anything to do with it," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
The US president stunned Washington by firing Mr Comey, the man who leads the agency charged with investigating whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia to sway the November elections.
Asked how the change of leadership would affect bilateral relations, Mr Peskov said "we hope that it won't affect them at all."
The head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian senate Konstantin Kosachev earlier called Mr Trump's firing of Mr Comey "quite elegant" in comments to Interfax news agency.
"He removed a figure who was inconvenient for him using the same accusations that Trump's own opponents had previously presented against the FBI director," Mr Kosachev said.
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Meanwhile, Mr Trump will host Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov for talks at the White House today, his highest-level encounter with a Russian official since taking office.
Mr Lavrov, making his first trip to Washington in four years, will also meet his counterpart Rex Tillerson as he seeks US support for Russia's plan to establish safe zones in Syria.
The United States was not part of the deal signed by Syrian government backers Russia and Iran, and rebel supporter Turkey, last Thursday in the Kazakh capital Astana.
The US has given the plan an extremely cautious welcome, citing concerns about Iran's role as a guarantor.