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U.S.-Russia Crisis Seems To Be the Gravest So Far, Worries Senior Russian Diplomat

Oct. 7, 2015 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the 20th annual session of the Russian American Pacific Partnership (RAPP), held at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the capital of Sakhalin Oblast, in the Russian Far East, Secretary for the Russia-side of the U.S.-Russia Bi-Lateral Presidential Commission, Vladimir Vinokurov, called for closer and more active interaction between non-state contacts of these two countries. Expressing concerns about the deteriorating relations due to imposition of sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Vinokurov, an ambassador-at-large with the Foreign Ministry, said:

"I have been working on American direction for a long time, going through a number of crises in bilateral relations, but this one seems to be the gravest so far,"

TASS reported today.

Vinokurov also expressed hope that the non-state contacts that the RAPP represents will prevail.

"Nevertheless, common sense prevails in the long run, and the countries get back to normal cooperation. That is why, non-state contacts are very important. Russian regions and states of U.S. West are located far away from the capitals and should demonstrate bigger independence in mutually advantageous cooperation,"

he said.

The Russian American Pacific Partnership is a bilateral forum engaging the private-sector and government to identify and address barriers to business and commerce between the Russian East and the United States, according to the Council for U.S.-Russia Relations website. It is also the oldest and the only interregional forum of Russia and the United States, and was set up to exploit emerging economic opportunities to develop greater cooperation between the Russian East and the Western U.S. The partnership unites private sector interests with regional and federal governments, with an aim to expand trade and cooperation. It assembles once a year in Russia and the U.S. on a rotating basis. RAPP brings together representatives from 13 regions in Russia’s East and five states of the U.S. West Coast, according to the TASS report. The current session takes place over the two days of Oct. 7-8.