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Russian Ambassador Is Not Planning To Return to Washington Any Time Soon

April 1 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, yesterday told a joint meeting of the international and defense committees of Russia’s Federation Council, that he is not likely to return to Washington any time soon. According to accounts in TASS and Xinhua, Antonov also said that he doesn’t anticipate “bright prospects” for Russia-U.S. relations. Xinhua wrote: “The bilateral ties are in the midst of a deep crisis, which has grown partly due to the reluctance of the U.S. Joe Biden administration to solve problems with Moscow... Washington is destroying the foundations of Russia-U.S. interactions as the incumbent administration has continued” with the sanctions policies of its predecessor. “The diplomat believes that Washington will not change its stance substantially and the ‘systemic containment’ of Russia will remain a priority.”

Antonov told the legislators: “For several years, Russia has actively attempted to improve bilateral ties, to establish equal, mutually respectful, pragmatic dialogue.... However, we haven’t managed to change the trajectory of Russia-U.S. relations.”

In an interview with Channel One’s “Bolshaya Igra” (Great Game) today, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed at length the degradation of U.S. relations with Russia, in response to the question—asked twice—“when will Ambassador Anatoly Antonov return to Washington?” In his first answer, he detailed the ostensible missile defense arms buildup on Russia’s border, “It was announced that it was built exclusively with Iran in mind.... We now have a missile defense area in Europe. Nobody is saying that this is against Iran now. This is clearly being positioned as a global project designed to contain Russia and China. The same processes are underway in the Asia-Pacific region. No one is trying to pretend that this is being done against North Korea. This is a global system designed to back U.S. claims to absolute dominance, including in the military-strategic and nuclear spheres.”

Asked immediately a second time, Lavrov replied, “It’s up to President Putin to decide.”

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