MOSCOW: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the talks with his American counterpart Victoria Nuland “extremely frank” and useful. At the same time, he admitted that they did not bring significant progress – the issue of visas, the work of embassies, the number of diplomatic staff was not resolved. According to Ryabkov, the American side “does not listen” to the opinion of Russia, which could lead to a further aggravation of relations.
Negotiations between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland took place in Moscow . The American diplomat arrived at the Russian Foreign Ministry at 10:39 Moscow time.
The conversation lasted approximately two hours. After the meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that this dialogue was “extremely frank” and useful. In particular, they touched upon “issues of a bilateral nature”. Ryabkov emphasized that in addition to Nuland, there was also a representative of the American presidential administration in the American delegation. “This also made it possible to conduct a conversation directly and quite frankly,” he said in a comment to Interfax.
At the same time, the negotiations did not lead to much progress in the issue of visas, the restoration of the number of personnel in the embassies, as well as the work of foreign missions in the two countries.
“Those topics – visas, the conditions for the functioning of diplomatic missions, the rotation of the diplomatic staff, the overall normalization of the activities of Russian foreign missions in the United States and the United States in Russia – rather retain a significant crisis potential, and it cannot be ruled out that some further exacerbations are possible in these areas. What we told our American colleagues directly, ”he shared.
The diplomat also did not rule out freezing the work of the diplomatic missions of Russia and the United States, although Moscow would like to avoid such a scenario. In an interview with RIA Novosti, the Deputy Foreign Minister admitted that “the Americans do not listen to our logic and our demands.”
Ryabkov believes that in the near future the “specialized structures” of the foreign affairs agencies will be engaged in “some other areas” – “sectoral” ones.
“We also agreed that, without delay, we would nevertheless hold a specialized round of expert consultations on this topic, which is also significant in itself,” he added in a comment to Interfax.
Ryabkov also named topics that were not discussed with the American delegation. Among them are the situation in Ukraine and relations with it, the exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Washington, and the energy security of Europe.
Nevertheless, the international agenda was touched upon. “The topics of global regional security were discussed, including taking into account the second round of the Russian-American dialogue on strategic stability. We exchanged assessments and how the further work is going, ”the official said.
In particular, Ryabkov and Nuland discussed the situation in Afghanistan. Moscow confirmed that it still considers the US military presence in Central Asia unacceptable.
“We conveyed our preferences to the Americans, including the statement that, taking into account what happened, the main responsibility for normalizing the restoration of life in Afghanistan, among external factors, lies, of course, with the United States and its allies, which, in fact, by their presence brought us to the position that we watching, ”he added.
Nuland did not speak to the press either before or after the talks. The American official arrived in Moscow the day before the meeting. On October 11, after arriving in Moscow, she went with her colleague Eric Green to the mansion of the US Ambassador to Russia. Their photo appeared on the social networks of the US diplomatic service.
“I enjoy ‘Indian summer’ [written in Russian] at Spaso House in Moscow <…>. I look forward to meeting with representatives of the Russian authorities, business, as well as alumni of exchange programs ”, – quotes the press secretary of the American embassy Nuland in his Twitter account.
The American representative will spend another day in the Russian capital – her departure is scheduled for October 13. She has yet to meet with Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for International Affairs Yuri Ushakov and with Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak , writes TASS . At the same time , she will not have a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin , said Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov .
Since 2019, Nuland has been on the Russian sanctions list. But this year, the American authorities turned to Russia with a proposal to organize negotiations between the parties. For this, the Deputy Head of the State Department was excluded from the sanctions list. At the same time, the United States has also reduced its list of Russian diplomats who are prohibited from entering the country.