Saturday, August 13, 2022

Russia Warns US of ‘Points of No Return’ in Bilateral Relations | Farsnews Agency

Russia has warned the US about the points of no return, after which a rupture of diplomatic relations is possible, Alexander Darchiev, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's North American Department, told TASS in an interview.
The diplomat was asked whether the possibility of lowering diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington was being considered.

"I would not like to go into hypothetical speculation about what is possible and what is not possible in the current turbulent situation, when Westerners led by the United States have trampled on international law and absolute taboos in diplomatic practice," Darchiev said.

"In this context, I would like to mention the legislative initiative currently being discussed in Congress to declare Russia a 'country sponsor of terrorism'. If passed, it would mean that Washington would have to cross the point of no return, with the most serious collateral damage to bilateral diplomatic relations, up to their lowering or even breaking them off. The US side has been warned," the head of the Foreign Ministry department stressed.

Washington is unleashing a ‘visa war’ flywheel against not only diplomats but also ordinary Russian citizens, Darchiev added.

"A ‘visa war’ flywheel has been launched by Washington's, affecting not only diplomats, but also ordinary citizens. Obtaining an American visa requires tremendous effort, including a trip to other countries to apply for it. Denial of visas in Moscow under the pretext of staff shortage is a purely domestic US decision," the diplomat said.

According to Darchiev, Russian diplomats in the US, who experience "no less of a staff shortage", continue to "fully provide consular services regardless of the citizenship of the applicant".

"The ball is thus on the American side," he concluded.

Russia and the United States continue to engage in ‘quiet diplomacy’ on the possibility of exchanging Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who is serving a prison sentence in the United States; it should be fruitful, Darchiev added.

"The 'quiet diplomacy' continues, it should bear fruit, if, of course, Washington will strictly follow it without slipping into propaganda," the diplomat said in response to a corresponding question.

As for the American side taking the prisoner exchange topic out into the public arena, according to Darchiev, there is nothing left to do but throw up one's hands.

"I would not like to think that this was done out of sheer inconsideration. Rather, it was an attempt to put pressure on us through a media hype, to gain propaganda points for the ruling Democratic Party in the lead-up to the November Congress elections," he said, adding, "This does not help the cause, it only hinders it."

Earlier, Washington offered Moscow to exchange Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who is serving a prison term in the US for arms trafficking, for basketball player Brittney Griner, sentenced to jail for drugs trafficking, and Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia of spying. The exchange of prisoners was one of the topics discussed in a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in late July. Lavrov urged his American counterpart to return to ‘quiet diplomacy’ on the issue, the Russian side said after the conversation.

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