Russia – US Relations Getting Worse Amidst False Accusations and Obstacles to Diplomatic Missions

The US has surrounded Russia with military bases from all sides and is forcing military hysteria, as stated by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 

Picture: Speaking Platform

“The fact that the US has surrounded us with its military bases from all sides is probably already facts that any schoolboy knows, and, nevertheless, this hysteria is constantly being escalated,” RIA Novosti quoted the Minister.

It is noted that recently Kiev and Western states have expressed concern about the “gathering” of Russian forces to the border with Ukraine. As the press secretary of the president, Dmitry Peskov, pointed out, Moscow moves troops within its territory and at its discretion, which “does not threaten anyone and should not worry anyone,” because “any country whose borders have an unstable region nearby will take the necessary measures for its own security.”

At the same time, the US itself and its NATO allies have recently significantly increased military activity in the Black Sea. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the US is trying to create a grouping of troops near the Russian borders, and one of Washington’s goals is the military development of Ukraine and studying the situation in case of a military solution to the conflict in Donbass.

Here also goes recent news about the decision of Ukraine’s President, Vladimir Zelensky, to register in the Parliament of Ukraine a bill on the admission of foreign troops to the country in 2022 to participate in exercises. This obviously contradicts the declared US’ intentions to reduce the number of exercises “to reduce the risk of confrontation” with Russia.

According to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, Washington never stops trying to contain Russia’s development and is spending considerable funds to destabilize the situation in the country.

“Ill-wishers never stop trying to contain the development of our country, to influence our domestic and foreign policy by means of sanctions, blackmail, and information warfare. Using non-profit international organizations among other tools, Washington is spending considerable funds to destabilize the situation in Russia,” he said.

As the diplomat noted, the US side is doing it “under the pretext of helping strengthen democratic institutions and civil society.”

“Big money is allocated to finance projects promoting protests and separatist sentiment. Notably, it is done under the guise of environmental protection, anti-corruption efforts, ensuring gender equality and ethnic and cultural diversity,” Ryabkov assures.

“Not an expulsion”: Russian diplomats suffer visa closures with no way back

However, notwithstanding all negative intentions and unpleasant steps of the US side, Russia still advocates a complete and reciprocal nullification of all restrictions placed during the recent years, as said by the Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov.

The two countries have gone through several rounds of expelling each other’s diplomats in recent years. The White House also closed the Russian consulate in San Francisco seizing the building, while Moscow banned American diplomats from hiring local workers in Russia. Then, Antonov revealed that 55 Russian diplomats will be forced to leave the US on 30 January and the same amount will have to depart on 30 June 2022.

Antonov stressed that the matter of issuing visas for Russian diplomats travelling to the US remains acute. He slammed Washington for perpetuating the practice of intentionally separating the families of diplomats by denying some of them visas.

Ryabkov, in turn, said that Russia does not want to delay meeting with the US to discuss the issue of visas and hopes to hold a gathering in December. The diplomat said that Moscow is waiting for a response from Washington, warning that Russia will respond to America’s plans to expel diplomats and their families in the coming weeks if this really happens.

“We will definitely respond. We have already warned the US side that in order to prevent a further decline of personnel numbers here we cannot help but to respond. They must stop,” Ryabkov stated.

For this matter, Antonov stressed that it would be hardly possible to build normal relations between the two countries without settlement of those issues.

“We stand for an honest and respectful dialogue on all visa irritants. We believe that good will can help solve all the problems swiftly. The Russian Side advocates a complete and reciprocal nullification of all restrictions placed during recent years. We urge Washington to return to compliance with international obligations with regard to diplomatic property and practice of normal functioning of the diplomatic missions,” the diplomat said.

However, the US side claimed Russia misunderstood the situation that should not be anyway taken as an “expulsion”. The US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Jalina Porter, said that the order for 55 Russian diplomats to leave the US by late January is not an expulsion, as Moscow can assign other diplomatic members instead of those departing ones, calling it a measure to ensure “greater parity.” The US Department of State has made it clear that in case of refusal to fulfil this request, the immunity and other diplomatic privileges of the Russian employees will be revoked.

Asked to comment on Porter’s statement, Antonov noted that “The State Department is being cunning again. The US Side is trying to delude the American and international public, deliberately distorting the facts.”

“The claim that the departure of 55 Russian diplomats cannot be regarded as an expulsion also begs the question. The US Side has made it clear that in case of refusal to fulfil this request, the immunity and other diplomatic privileges of the Russian employees will be revoked. This means a de facto expulsion,” he emphasized.

He reminded that it was particularly The Department of State that in December 2020 unilaterally introduced a three-year limit on long-term assignments for employees of the Embassy in Washington, D.C., and Russian Consulates General in New York and Houston. According to Antonov, “the United States is trying to limit the sovereign right of the Russian Federation to make staffing decisions with respect to its diplomatic missions at its own discretion.”

Ru-Main, 30.11.2021
Source: TASS, Sputnik

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *