Ambassador Antonov Discusses U.S. Visas for Russian Delegation to UNGA with State Department
Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov told Rossiya 24 TV yesterday that he expected to visit the U.S. State Department, today, to discuss the issuance of visas to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the other members of the Russian delegation who will be traveling to New York to attend the UN General Assembly in September. “Tomorrow I will have another visit to the State Department, where one of the central issues I intend to raise is this exact issue: the issue of a full-scale participation of our minister and the delegation in the upcoming September events in New York,” he said, reported TASS.
Regarding the state of U.S.-Russia relations, Antonov reported that political engagement between Russia and the U.S. has almost come to a complete halt, with contacts happening only occasionally. “I have to admit that the Russian-U.S. political dialogue is paralyzed today. As a result, even the areas that are of mutual interest to the two countries suffer. Contacts are occasional,” he said, reported TASS. “We are firmly convinced that without direct interaction of our powers, it’s impossible to solve not only the problems of bilateral relations, but also issues concerning the whole world.”
“The situation is deplorable. I’d like to say otherwise, but I can’t. Everything that was created in recent years has come apart. It seemed that two years ago the relations were complicated when we had the Trump Administration expelling Russian diplomats, wrangling over property. But today they are just unprecedented,” Antonov continued. He said the U.S. propaganda is trying its best to demonize the Russian authorities. Russians traveling outside their country or residing in the U.S., “are discriminated against for being Russians, intimidated, persecuted, threatened,” he said. “Unfortunately, cultural, scientific and educational ties have been severed. Mentions of the role of our country in World War II are being blotted out,” the ambassador said.
On arms control, Antonov said that he plans to talk to Pentagon officials soon about New START but that Russian requests to talk about the substance of Biden’s Aug. 1 offer to restart talks have received no response from the Administration so far. “But I expect to meet with representatives of the [U.S.] Department of Defense and the State Department in the near future, where it would be possible to dot the i’s and determine whether the Americans are really ready for equal, mutually beneficial interaction.”