The day before yesterday, the US Congress passed a bill on tougher sanctions against several countries including the Russian Federation. Last year, the American administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two compounds belonging to our country under “spying” and “election meddling” allegations. All these measures not only run counter to the fundamental principles of international law, diplomacy, and basic courtesy, but also are detrimental to the economic and political interests of America, let alone European and other countries whose voice has been blatantly disregarded.
This stance is yet further proof that the United States is still harbouring the idea of superiority and unilateralism in the post-Cold War era, which is a disturbing sign to the international community.
Over the last decades, the Russian Federation has proved itself a valuable and committed partner, a country willing to take up emerging challenges in collaboration with other members of international community. To this end, it has been working hard to improve bilateral relations with the US, strengthen economic ties and cooperation on the most pressing issues of the international affairs including terrorism, WMD non-proliferation, transnational crime and cyberspace security.
In this sense, it is regrettable that the US brass is passing up this opportunity for joint action and instead is opting for using the Kremlin as a scapegoat in internal political bickering. Not only that, it seeks to limit Russia’s cooperation with foreign partners thus threatening their businesses and national interests.
Despite this severe neglect of generally recognized diplomatic practices, Russia has been patient, restrained and willing to restore the Russian-American relations to an acceptable level until this day. However, it is clear now that Russophobia has carried the day in American decision-making.
Therefore, the Russian Government has requested that the American diplomatic and technical staff currently employed in the US diplomatic missions in Russia be reduced to 455 officials by September 1, which corresponds to the Russian personnel in the USA. Starting August 1, all storage facilities in Moscow and the country house in Serebryany Bor will be unavailable to the US Embassy. In the event of further unilateral action on behalf of the US, additional retaliatory measures will follow.
Alexander V Ryabkov
Russian Embassy in Guyana