Russia rejects the efforts by the United States to exert pressure and responds to unfriendly actions, but is willing to improve the bilateral dialogue, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov told Sputnik.
“Russia does not accept US attempts to increase pressure and strongly reacts to unfriendly actions …
“However, Moscow does not aim to cause confrontation and remains open to improving the bilateral dialogue.
“It can be achieved if the states build relationships on a basis of equality and mutual respect,” Antonov said.
The diplomat pointed out that the countries maintained contacts in 2017 with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump having held two meetings – on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Germany’s Hamburg and APEC Summit in Vietnam’s Da Nang – as well as a number of phone conversations.
“”Our foreign policy chiefs are maintaining a permanent dialogue. They met in Moscow in April, in Washington in May, in Manila in August, in New York in September, in Da Nang in November and in Vienna in December.
“U.S. State Secretary Rex] Tillerson was received in Moscow by Putin while [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov met with Trump during his May visit to the United States,” Antonov added.
Russian-U.S. relations deteriorated in 2017 over a number of issues including alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a row against Russian diplomatic property in the United States as well as pressure on the RT broadcaster.