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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. The cancellation of consultations between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon is not a response to the expansion of anti-Russian sanctions by Washington. Work on Russia’s countermeasures is underway, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"I cannot say that the cancellation of the consultations was a counter-move… These are completely different things. As you know, sanctions are traditionally followed by tit-for-tat measures," the diplomat noted.
"Work on the issue is underway. Alas, we will have to respond to this," Zakharova added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in a statement posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday that the next round of consultations between Russian and US high-ranking diplomats scheduled for June 23 will not take place.
"After yesterday’s decision (made on Tuesday - TASS) to impose new sanctions, the atmosphere is not conducive to such dialogue (between Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon - TASS)," the statement says. "Moreover, there is not much on the agenda since Washington has made no specific proposals in this regard," Ryabkov emphasized.