2018 year of missed of opportunities in Russian-US relations — Russian ambassador

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WASHINGTON, December 28. /TASS/. The year of 2018 has become the year of missed opportunities in Russian-US relations despite Moscow’s efforts to improve the situation, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Friday.

“2018 became the year of missed opportunities,” Antonov said adding that “the Russian side made maximum efforts to improve the situation in relations with the US.” “We handed serious proposals on concrete projects and bilateral contacts to our US colleagues,” he noted.

Antonov said this year “we managed to improve the dialogue” between Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and US National Security Advisor John Bolton, as they held several rounds of talks – in Geneva in June, in Moscow in August and October. “We hope they will meet again in 2019,” Antonov said.

Moreover, “December consultations on anti-terrorism between the delegations of the two countries were useful,” the ambassador noted. The delagations were headed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

“Visits of US lawmakers to Moscow in the summer of this year became an important step, as we said, in the right direction, but they have not yet led to restoring comprehensive cooperation between Russian and US parliament members,” the diplomat said.

“We can’t organize regular contacts between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary Michael Pompeo,” the ambassador noted. “Our proposal to resume consultations between US and Russian foreign and defense minister in the 2+2 format remains unrealized,” he added.

In 2018, the US side “delivered several blows” to the ties between Washington and Moscow, Antonov continued. “We may remember how 60 Russian diplomats were expelled under the pretext of the fabricated ‘Skripal case’, how the Russian Consulate General in Seattle was closed. They continue accusing Russia of ‘interfering’ into US elections. All of this done with complete absence of evidence, which is substituted with ultimatums, megaphone diplomacy and unilateral actions,” Antonov stressed.

“We explain to US colleagues that such policy will not lead anywhere. If there are concerns and disagreements, we need to sit down at the negotiations table, discuss problems and look for a compromise, not try to force your own positions,” the ambassador said.

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