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MOSCOW, July 04. /ITAR-TASS/. US attempts to hamper interaction between a number of countries and Russia and drive Moscow-Washington relations into a deadlock, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the newspaper Kommersant in an interview published on Friday.
"The United States has curtailed tried-and-tested and effective formats of dialogue and cooperation with us, the formats that have proven their relevancy," Ryabkov recalled. "This applies primarily to the bilateral presidential commission and the dialogue on economic matters. The US administration came to consider that this dialogue is not needed".
"I did not suppose that matters regarding trade, investment, and access to markets can so simply fall victim to geopolitical considerations," the diplomat acknowledged. "It turns out that this can happen. Incidentally, such decisions are initiated by the government of the country which inscribed on the banners of its economic growth and might that the market decides everything and that it must be regulated with the smallest possible interference".
"At present," the deputy minister went on to say, "the market turns into a foreign-policy instrument". "Forbidden tricks which have nothing to do with market interests and considerations of economic efficiency are employed on an increasingly wide scale," Ryabkov pointed out. "All that is subordinated to purely geopolitical task of restricting and even throwing back a country or countries which by virtue of their foreign-policy course or something else do not suit the USA".
"Those are tricks from the past, very distant past. In this, just as in many other manifestations of harmful disruptive activity of US political forces with regard to economic operators, we see a reflection of a lack of confidence as to extent to which US interests can be ensured in the future," he emphasized. "If one resorts to such tricks, it means that the array of foreign-policy tools is not so wide".
Ryabkov also drew attention to a number of other "manifestations of such mentality that put one on his guard". "Such as, specifically, an increasingly wide use of the instrument of sanctions, including measures to limit the bank servicing of normal economic activities. This is none other than a new offensive (weapon), in some respects even a strategic foreign-political weapon of the USA," he remarked.
The deputy minister also commented on information that had appeared in a number media that the US Ambassador to Slovenia sought to persuade the authorities of that country to refuse to receive Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov next week. "If this is true, which I cannot judge, I leave that on the conscience of the American side," Ryabkov said. "We know for sure that the US administration sought to prevent allies and buusinessmen, through exerting pressure on them, from participating at a proper level in a whole lot of important-to-Russia forums and meetings".
"This is a disruptive line. It for certain has no impact on our political course, but it drives Moscow-Washington relations into a deadlock," Ryabkov stressed. At the same time, Ryabkov said, "Specifically, I have no information on the situation (the actions of the US Ambassador in Ljubljana)". "My comments concern, on the whole, the Americans' attempts to prevent others from normally developing relations and conducting dialogue with the Russian side," he added.