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MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. New US steps against Russia’s diplomatic missions will indicate Washington’s readiness to further strain relations and will be met with a tit-for-tat response, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (or International Life) magazine, the full text of which was published on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Tuesday.
"We can assume that they [the United States] will now find another pretext to raise tensions further and take new steps to hamper the activities of Russia’s diplomatic missions in the US," Ryabkov said. "If it really happens, they will send us a signal indicating their readiness to further strain bilateral relations. We have warned them many times to avoid such actions," the Russian diplomat added.
"I would like to use this opportunity to reiterate once again: God forbid Washington does something like that," Ryabkov went on to say. "In this case, we will immediately respond in kind. As a result, diplomatic missions will be deprived of a chance to operate normally, while their activities are vital for building any kind of dialogue and healthy relations," he pointed out.
Ryablov also said that as far as restrictions were concerned, Russia had been following the United States. "They take a step down - we follow," he said. "We never put forward negative initiatives, and, on a larger political scale, we never ruin what we have," the Russian deputy foreign minister noted.