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Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov

Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov Criticizes US Stance on Relations, Asserts Moscow’s Position

Moscow, April 04, 2024, The Europe Today: In a recent statement, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov rebuked the longstanding US position that Russia must alter its behavior to enhance relations with the West, emphasizing that Washington has persistently overlooked Moscow’s fundamental interests over the years.

Antonov’s remarks came in response to comments made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an interview with French broadcaster LCI on Tuesday. Blinken expressed openness to a potential meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, notwithstanding the ongoing tensions surrounding Ukraine. Blinken emphasized that Russia is not deemed a pariah, indicating that the US is not opposed to engagement with Moscow but requires evidence of policy changes.

Pushing back on Thursday, Ambassador Antonov asserted that it is not within the purview of the United States to offer directives to Russia, highlighting a historical pattern of such attitudes from Washington. He criticized the tendency for the US to demand concessions from Russia while neglecting Moscow’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding its vital interests.

Antonov underscored that Russia did not initiate military deployments near NATO borders or institute extensive economic and personal sanctions. He attributed the current state of affairs to the deliberate choices made by Western nations, accusing them of disregarding diplomatic norms and breaching the principle of security indivisibility.

The envoy urged Western countries to discard illusions of achieving a strategic victory over Russia and advocated for respecting the sovereignty and interests of other nations. He emphasized that Moscow rejects attempts at dictation and opposes US efforts to impose its values on others.

President Vladimir Putin previously expressed Russia’s willingness to enhance relations with the US but conditioned such progress on substantial changes in Washington’s policies and a genuine commitment to dialogue and compromise.

Russia has long voiced apprehensions about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, interpreting the actions of the US-led military alliance as a direct threat. Despite these concerns, President Putin has repeatedly asserted that Russia harbors no intentions of attacking NATO.

The exchange of viewpoints between Moscow and Washington underscores the ongoing complexities in bilateral relations and the divergent perspectives shaping diplomatic discourse on the global stage.