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New US administration will have to face many problems in relations with Russia - diplomat

Oct 16, 2020

Washington DC (USA) Oct 16: The new administration of the United States will have to deal with "a huge number of problems" in the bilateral relations with Russia, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said during a session of the US-Russia Business Council.
"I often receive questions about the changes we expect in Russian-American relations after the US presidential elections. I can only say that I have the same question in my mind. A strong anti-Russian consensus persists in America. Plus, whoever wins, the new administration will have to deal with a huge number of problems in bilateral relations. They cannot be addressed overnight. Political will and time are needed from both sides to create a more or less stable basis for cooperation," he said.
"I'm sure that normal predictable Russian-American relations meet the interests of the peoples of the United States of America and the Russian Federation. We have to find a solution on how to untie the knot of problems in Russian-American ties," the ambassador added.
"We should pursue an honest forward-looking pragmatic policy in order to confirm our responsibility for international peace and stability," Antonov said.
The Russia topic
"It is not easy to speak about Russian-American ties, especially in the run-up to the US presidential elections," the ambassador pointed out. "The Russia topic has once again become a central subject of the struggle between parties. Against the background of never-ending baseless allegations it looks as if American politicians compete to see who is tougher on Russia. At the same time any constructive development in our dialogue is perceived as a sort of concession made by Washington."
Moscow cannot agree with this approach, the diplomat stated. "It is our view that Russia and the United States are equally interested in developing stable and predictable relations. Due to objective reasons, their condition influences the global environment. That is why we consider it important to do our best to eliminate the sources of disagreement, differentiate shared interests and areas of disagreement and establish protective barriers to prevent further deterioration - from crisis to crisis," Antonov stated.
US election
Russia will offer to normalize bilateral ties with the USA regardless of who will win the upcoming presidential election, Antonov said.
"Regardless of the person that will lead the US in the upcoming four years, our comprehensive proposals on normalizing bilateral relations are still on the table. We are ready to launch joint substantial work at any moment," the ambassador said.
"On behalf of the Russian side I'd like to assure you that our actions are aimed at stabilizing and then improving Russian-American relations," he noted. "In recent years we have repeatedly and at different levels made detailed suggestions on how to overcome the current deadlock in the relations."
"Some issues are long-term, some can be fixed pretty fast. The full potential of trade and economic cooperation and ties between regions is yet to be reached," he continued. "Cultural and humanitarian exchanges, contacts between people are in high demand. It's important to promote interaction in the spheres with fewer contradictions, such as space, culture, the Arctic, fishery, scientific cooperation."
"For example, in spite of the pandemic, bilateral turnover of commodities reached 14.1 billion dollars in the period from January to August. It is remarkable, that the proportion of non-energy trade - trade in food, manufactured goods, medicine - is increasing. We see the start of new projects, the expansion of existing joint ventures. There is a growth of direct investments. Last year the volume hit 14.4 billion dollars," the diplomat informed.
"We have repeatedly stressed that we are ready to work with Washington on any issue. The main thing is that such cooperation should be built on the basis of equality, there should be no place for blackmail attempts and attempts to impose one's will on each other," Antonov stressed.
The US presidential election will take place on November 3. Besides the president and the vice president, all 435 members of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be elected, along with the governors of 13 states and territories.
Source: TASS