Ready to normalise talks only if US gives up confrontational line: Russian Foreign Ministry
Moscow/Russia, August 7: The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that they are ready to normalise talks only if the U.S. gives up the confrontational line. “Naturally, such actions [the US sanctions], including the illegal seizure of our diplomatic property since December last year, could not be left unanswered. This will be in this way from now on. At the same time, we are ready to normalize the dialogue, if Washington gives up the confrontational line,” Tass news agency quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement on Sunday.
The statement came after a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional forum in Manila. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he had a lengthy meeting with the US Secretary of State during which he explained Tillerson about Moscow’s counter-measures in response to U.S sanctions.
“He wanted to know, first of all, and he started with this, the details of those decisions, which we had had to take in response to the law on anti-Russian sanctions adopted in the US Congress. We gave these explanations,” Lavrov said. A few days back, United States President Donald Trump had said that his country’s relationship with Russia is at all time “dangerously low.”
“Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!,” Trump tweeted. Earlier, Trump had signed a bill overwhelmingly approved by the Congress that imposed new sanctions on Russia. The sanctions bill targets Russia’s mining and oil industry and aims to punish the country for interfering in the 2016 presidential election as well for its military aggression in Ukraine.
The U.S. lawmakers on Thursday passed a legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and that will now head to the President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. The bill was approved overwhelmingly by the Senators 98-2 and that gives Congress new powers to block Trump from easing sanctions. It passed the House on Tuesday 419-3. This is one of the first major bipartisan pieces of legislation passed during Trump’s presidency.
“Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies. My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better,” Trump said on signing the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”.
“We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies – who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions – regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defence sectors because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies,” the statement added.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the US sanctions as a “full-fledged economic war” on Moscow and said that Washington has crushed hopes for repairing the estranged ties. “It is regrettable that the law on sanctions against Russia has come into effect in the United States. Its very title – “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” – speaks for itself. Its initiators are trying to impress on the US public a certain image of our country. This is a very short-sighted and even dangerous policy fraught with undermining stability for which Moscow and Washington bear a special responsibility,” Russia’s Information and Press Department said in a statement.(ANI)