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State Department Issues Statement On US-Russia Relations

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Shortly after Russia’s deputy foreign minister Ryabkov snubbed the US, cancelling a meeting with the Under Secretary of State Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., in retaliation to the Trump administration’s announcement on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on 38 Russian individuals while a parallel bill of Russian sanctions is making its way through Congress, the US State Department issued a statement on US-Russian relations.

Statement from @statedeptspox on U.S.-#Russia relations: pic.twitter.com/UoMnydnuJC

— Department of State (@StateDept) June 21, 2017

Shortly after the Russian snub, the US State Department responded that it regrets “that Russia has decided to turn away from an opportunity to discuss bilateral obstacles” and then adds: “Let’s remember that these sanctions didn’t just come out of nowhere. Our targeted sanctions were imposed in response to Russia’s ongoing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbor, Ukraine. If the Russians seek an end to these sanctions, they know very well the U.S. position.”

Finally, for any reporters who are still confused how Russia could possibly slam the door of diplomacy in the US’ face after an American F-18 shot down a Syrian fighter jet flying over Syria, and proceeded with two separate sanctions, the State Department has some advice: “we would refer you to the Russian government to explain their decision to cancel this meeting. “

Full statement below:

Statement from the State Department on U.S.-Russia relations

We regret that Russia has decided to turn away from an opportunity to discuss bilateral obstacles that hinder U.S.-Russia relations.

During the Secretary’s April visit to Moscow, he and Foreign Minister Lavrov agreed to establish a senior-level working group to discuss bilateral issues of concern. Undersecretary Shannon had planned to travel to St. Petersburg this week to continue discussions which began in May when he met Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov in New York.

The maintenance package of sanctions issued yesterday by the Treasury Department, which only reinforced existing sanctions, was designed to counter attempts to circumvent our sanctions and to maintain alignment of U.S. measures with those of our international partners. We have regularly updated these sanctions twice a year since they were first imposed.

Let’s remember that these sanctions didn’t just come out of nowhere. Our targeted sanctions were imposed in response to Russia’s ongoing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbor, Ukraine. If the Russians seek an end to these sanctions, they know very well the U.S. position: Our sanctions on Russia related Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine will remain in place until Russia fully honors its obligations under the Minsk Agreements. Our sanctions related to Crimea will not be lifted until Russia ends its occupation of the peninsula.

We would refer you to the Russian government to explain their decision to cancel this meeting. From our perspective, and as Secretary Tillerson has made clear, there are many issues to be discussed. We remain open to future discussions.


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