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Ambassador Antonov Speaks on Improving U.S.-Russia Relations

Oct. 7, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov made several statements on U.S.-Russian relations while speaking at the Fort Ross Dialogue international forum in San Francisco. His comments focused on improving relations between Russia and the United States. According to TASS, Antonov said he hoped that the Sept. 27 meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the UN will further boost a dialogue. “The talks between both ministers were sincere and open,” Antonov said. “We hope that the meeting will give an additional impetus to our dialogue.”

The complete text of Antonov’s speech is posted to the embassy’s website. He also called for re-invigoration of mutual exchanges of people with the United States in the business, cultural, scientific, and other spheres.

“We speak for an increase in the number of mutual exchanges of our citizens within the frames of business, personal, cultural, scientific, sports, as well as family and friendly relations,” Antonov said.

He revealed that he has requested meetings with new U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and the new administration under Mark Esper at the Pentagon. “I can tell you that I have turned to O’Brien, asking him to receive me for a meeting,” Antonov said. “I have also proposed to newly-appointed senior officials of the U.S. Department of State to pay them at least a courtesy visit, because we had businesslike and pragmatic relations with former executives of Pentagon. I dearly hope that we will establish normal and working relations with the new administration of the National Security Council and Pentagon,” the ambassador said.

Of the issue of short- and medium-range missiles, Antonov said: “In case the United States deploys these types of missiles very close to our borders, we will be forced to protect our country; we will be forced to resort to the necessary measures. It is high time for us to sit at the negotiation table, to stop negotiating via media, trading accusations; it is high time to meet, perhaps in Geneva, in Vienna, in Washington, in Moscow, and to come to grips with these issues.”

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