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4 Apr, 2024 07:30

‘Stop lying,’ Russia tells US

The current standoff with Moscow was the exclusive choice of the West, which has trampled on diplomacy, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has claimed 
‘Stop lying,’ Russia tells US

The US mantra that Russia must change its behavior to improve relations with the West disregards the fact that Washington has for years willfully ignored Moscow’s core interests, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has said.

Moscow's envoy was responding to comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who told French broadcaster LCI on Tuesday that he did not rule out a possible meeting between President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, despite the current standoff over Ukraine. 

“Russia is not a pariah,” Blinken stated, and “the idea has never been to exclude [it],” while insisting that Moscow is responsible for the current rift with the West. “If policy changes, we don’t rule anything out. The problem is that we don’t have any proof, for the moment, that policy is changing.”

Responding on Thursday, Antonov said it is “not for the Americans to give us advice,” adding that Washington has long adopted this attitude. “They always demand something from us and don’t want to realize that Russia will not give up on protecting its vital interests.”

“It is time for the United States government to stop lying to itself and others.”

It was not Moscow that “moved its war machine to NATO’s borders” and spearheaded unprecedented economic and personal sanctions, Antonov added.

“Everything that is happening now is the exclusive choice of the West, which has trampled on the basics of diplomacy, the principle of indivisibility of security and has been abusing the trust of the Russian Federation for many years,” the envoy claimed.

For relations to improve, Western countries “should abandon illusions about the possibility of inflicting a strategic defeat” on Russia and learn to respect other nations’ interests, the ambassador stated, adding that Moscow does not accept “attempts at dictatorship” and the US desire to impose its values on others.

President Putin said in December that Moscow is open to improving relations with the US, but that this process depends on fundamental changes in Washington’s policies and a desire to seek compromise.

Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led military bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Putin, however, has repeatedly said Moscow has no plans to attack NATO.