Diplomat says US sanctions may destroy prospects for better relations with Russia

TASS– Russian deputy foreign minister says retaliation over the US sanctions may follow

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov considers the US actions a move towards destruction of prospects for better relations with Russia, he told TASS, commenting on the vote in the US House of Representatives on the bill that tightens unilateral sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

“What is happening is beyond common sense,” Ryabkov said. “The authors and sponsors of this bill are making a very serious step towards destruction of prospects for normalizing relations with Russia and do not conceal that that’s their target.”

“The reverse side of this coin is a strive to restrict in all areas the possibilities for the US executive authorities to bolster relations with Russia and other countries that are ‘targets’ of this bill,” Ryabkov added.

The Russian deputy foreign minister called the result of the vote predicted and expressed opinion that the sanctions bill would soon be approved by the US Senate. “Yesterday’s vote in the House of Representatives [of the US Congress] on the draft law notoriously dubbed ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ has brought the result we’ve been expecting: the bill has been adopted by majority of votes and is now to be studied by the upper chamber of the Congress – the Senate,” he noted. “I believe that the bill will pass the necessary approval procedure quickly enough and will soon be presented to the US president.”

The US House of Representatives approved a bill that tightens unilateral US sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea on Tuesday. This document is to be studied by the Senate, and the upper house of the Congress is expected to adopt this bill that is widely supported both by the Democratic and the ruling Republican Parties. Then the document, dubbed “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” will be presented to US President Donald Trump. The White House has indicated recently that Trump was ready to sign the bill.

Russia-US dialogue

Moscow, however, “does not give in to emotions” and continues searching for ways for constructive dialogue with the US:

“We do not give in to emotions,” the Russian diplomat noted.

“We will be working to find ways of moving forward and persistently and continuously searching for a compromise in issues that are important to Russia and, I think, to the US as well: fight against terrorism and spread of mass destruction weapons. There are a lot of issues, and we are ready to cooperate.”

Washington as a source of danger 

Moscow sees Washington as a source of danger and acts accordingly, Ryabkov has stressed.

“Washington is a source of danger,” Ryabkov said. “This should be understood and actions should be taken in a balanced, reasonable, cautious and calm way, without any emotions. We will be ready for such actions.”

Ryabkov noted that Moscow preserved intention for a dialogue with Washington on many issues that are important for both countries. However, there are less possibilities for cooperation due to the US policy. “We will be searching for ways for a constructive dialogue and cooperation in a persistent and continuous way,” he affirmed. “It is clear that such manifestations of negative attitude towards Russia and attempts to apply some enforcement actions against us based on absolutely farfetched and made-up pretexts, as well as continuation of this policy, narrow down the possibilities for productive work,” Ryabkov specified.

“This is a conscious choice of Russia’s enemies in the US,” the diplomat affirmed. “There are many of them, they have passed all bounds and know no restraint in their zeal, they are out of control.”

“So, we will continue seeing today’s America in this way,” the Russian deputy foreign minister added.