Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov
WASHINGTON, March 27. /TASS/. Washington's words about its readiness for cooperation with Moscow do not meet the actions, and, contrary to the assurances, the policy of the former administration continues, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in a statement for the press.
"Washington's actions are indicative of very disturbing symptoms. The words about the readiness for cooperation do not meet the actions. Contrary to the assurances, the policy of the previous administration has continued," he said.
According to him "the blow to official representatives and missions of Russia" means actions aimed at confrontation, and "there is no justification for it."
According to the Ambassador, Russia will not allow itself to be provoked into an emotional breakdown by the actions against Moscow in response to the alleged involvement in the poisoning of former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Great Britain. "The truth will come out. We will not let ourselves to be provoked into an emotional breakdown," he said.
"The people responsible for those few areas in which mutually beneficial cooperation survives - space, science and culture, trade, prisoners and missing persons - are being sent away," the Ambassador noted. "Restoring relations and searching for common ground have been thrown back," he added.
The expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States was most likely planned in advance, but was postponed until a suitable occasion, Antonov said.
"The scope of damage and the previous media support indicate that it was probably planned in advance, and was simply postponed - in anticipation of a suitable occasion. The absence of any facts confirming the accusations of Washington and London against us gives rise to suspicions of close coordination and joint planning of the events," he said.
"Internal problems, which Washington and London are trying to hide behind ‘the Russian threat’, will not go away. Our opponents do not like the strong and powerful Russia with recently demonstrated capabilities," the ambassador said.
According to him, "on the day of the tragedy in Kemerovo" Russia saw "emotional deafness, indifference and callousness" from the official Washington. "They just decided to make it more painful," Antonov said. "At the time when ordinary Americans, together with us in our grief, send us condolences," he said.
On March 26, US authorities have decided to expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian consulate in Seattle. The diplomats being expelled from the US include 48 embassy staff and 12 members of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. In turn, Germany, Canada, Poland and France have decided to expel four diplomats each, Lithuania and the Czech Republic - three each, Australia, Albania, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands - two each, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Finland, Croatia , Sweden and Estonia - one each, while Ukraine decided to send away 13 Russian diplomats.
This measures were taken against the alleged involvement if Russia in poisoning of an ex-GRU official in Great Britain. On March 4, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and exchanged for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union. London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow.
Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled, the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia. At the same time, Moscow pointed out that further measures could be taken "should there be any more hostile actions against Russia.".