Antonov denied State Department statements on situation with Russian and US diplomatic missions

Moscow has repeatedly suggested Washington to abandon restrictions on the work of the two countries’ embassies, the Russian ambassador said

Antonov denied State Department statements on situation with Russian and US diplomatic missions

Commenting on statements made by State Department spokesman Ned Price about Moscow’s demand for the United States embassy to no longer hire local staff, Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said Monday evening that the US side was misleading the media about the working conditions of Russian and US diplomatic missions.

“If you listen to Mr. Ned Price, you might get the impression that difficulties in the work of the diplomatic missions arose through Russia’s fault and only yesterday,” the Russian embassy cited Antonov’s statement on its Facebook page. – We regret that our colleague was not prepared for such a serious conversation with journalists and misled them about the true state of affairs.
According to Antonov, Russia has repeatedly proposed to the US to drop restrictions on the work of the two countries’ embassies, but Washington is going to tighten the conditions for Russian diplomats even more. According to him, Moscow has shown restraint for a very long time, despite “many years of consistent and deliberate deterioration of the lives and working conditions of Russian diplomats in the United States.”

“This includes the seizure of our property, and the expulsion of staff when people were given only 72 hours to leave the country”, –  the ambassador stated, – “We have refrained from getting dragged into a vicious circle of ‘exchange of blows’ until the very last. We have repeatedly proposed to our colleagues to “reset” on a reciprocal basis the existing restrictions on the activities of each other’s foreign offices. These appeals have not been heeded. Moreover, working conditions for our staff continue to tighten.”

He added that the implementation of the Russian “countermeasure against the American missions” is precisely aimed at restoring “a balance of dip-presence – the Russian in the United States and the American in Russia.”

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