Russian Foreign Minister says US should stop rallying allies against it if relations are to improve
A senior Russian diplomat said on Wednesday that relations with the United States were worse than during the Cold War due to a lack of mutual respect.
“During the Cold War, tensions were high and risky crisis situations often arose, but there was also mutual respect,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russian state television . “It seems to me that there is a deficit of it now.”
Lavrov said Moscow was ready to improve relations with Washington if the United States stopped portraying itself as a “sovereign” rallying its allies against Russia and China.
He warned that if the United States rejected a mutually respectful dialogue on the basis of a balance of interests, “we would be living in ‘cold war’ conditions or worse.”
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Earlier this month, the Biden administration slapped Russia with sanctions for meddling in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and for its involvement in SolarWind’s hacking into federal agencies – activities Moscow has denied.
The United States ordered the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats, targeted dozens of businesses and individuals, and placed further restrictions on Russia’s ability to borrow money. Russia quickly retaliated by ordering 10 U.S. diplomats to leave, blacklisting eight current and former U.S. officials, and tightening requirements for U.S. embassy operations.
While ordering the sanctions, Biden also called for a de-escalation of tensions and opened the door to cooperation with Russia in certain areas.
Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov noted that Moscow had a “positive” attitude towards US President Joe Biden’s proposal to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said added that Russia has yet to analyze all aspects of the initiative.
Lavrov said he would attend a meeting of senior diplomats from Arctic countries in Iceland scheduled for next month and would be ready to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken if he also joins the meeting. .