In Meeting with Nuland, Ryabkov Sees No Positive Outcome
Oct. 12, 2021 (EIRNS)—In her meeting today with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria “Maidan” Nuland, appeared committed to doing nothing to change the current hostile relationship with Moscow, rejecting the offer by Ryabkov to engage in negotiations over the restrictions imposed on each other’s diplomatic missions—a practice begun by the United States against Russia—and on the granting of visas to diplomatic personnel.
According to media reports, nothing positive came out of the meeting. A Foreign Ministry press release today reported:
“Mr. Ryabkov emphasized that the hostile anti-Russian actions will not remain unanswered although Moscow does not seek to further escalate tensions. He suggested removing all restrictions that both sides have introduced in the past few years. Ms. Nuland was told that the continuation of Washington’s line toward confrontation on the bilateral agenda and in the context of acute international and regional problems can only result in the further degradation of Russian-U.S. relations. It is necessary to adopt a realistic approach and build bilateral ties on the principles of equality and mutual consideration of each other’s interests.”
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Defense Minister Col. Gen. Alexander Fomin.
As to whether there was progress on the issuance of visas, the restoration of the number of diplomatic personnel, and the operations of embassies in both countries, Ryabkov told Interfax,
“I cannot say we made much headway. Those issues, visas, the terms of embassy operations, rotation of diplomatic staff, and overall normalization of the activity of Russian diplomatic missions in the United States and U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia, have substantial crisis potential, and we do not rule out certain escalations in those areas. This is what we told our American colleagues frankly.”
There are some other areas of bilateral work, he said, in which “we have grounds to intensify the dialogue, and I believe that our relevant agencies will address these matters in the foreseeable future. We have agreed not to delay a specialized round of expert consultations on the issue, and this is also important,” he said. “However, progress on the substance of current problems has been minuscule. There is also a risk of new escalations.” He also raised concerns about the recently created AUKUS agreement among the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, particularly as this relates to matters of nuclear non-proliferation, as well as concerns over U.S. plans to expand military activity in Central Asia.