Friday, 23rd July 2021

US ambassador to return to Moscow this week: State Department

US ambassador to return to Moscow this week: State Department

Washington, June 22 (IANS) US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan will return to Moscow this week, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday.

“We remain committed to open channels of communication with the Russian government,” Price told reporters in a phone brief. “Both as a means to advance US interests but also to reduce the risk of miscalculation between our two countries.”

He also said Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov had returned to Washington DC, Xinhua reported.

Tensions escalated between Washington and Moscow earlier this year. The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled Antonov in March to conduct high-level consultations in Moscow. Sullivan left Russia for similar reasons in April.

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in Geneva last week that their respective ambassadors would return to their posts soon.

US-Russia relations are at their lowest point in years. The two sides have sharp differences over Ukraine, cybersecurity, human rights, and US election interference.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that the Biden administration is preparing additional sanctions against Russia over the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The US intelligence community assessed that officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service used a nerve agent known as Novichok to poison Navalny on August 20, 2020.

Russia has repeatedly denied such accusations, saying the Navalny case is a purely domestic affair and foreign intervention is not allowed.

–IANS

int/pgh

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