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US favors resumption of dialogue with Moscow at level of senior diplomats — spokesperson

June 28, 2017, 7:27 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Russia suspended the so-called Ryabkov-Shannon diplomatic channel after US imposed another round of untilateral sanctions

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WASHINGTON, June 28. /TASS/. Washington favors the resumption of the Russian-US dialogue via a channel established between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, a spokesperson for the US Department of State has said.

"We would regard that conversation as a very important conversation," Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday, commenting on Moscow’s decision to cancel the June 23 meeting between the two officials in St. Petersburg. Russia's move followed a new round of anti-Russian sanctions by Washington.

"You all have heard it here that our relationship with the Russian Government is at a low point right now and we would like to fix that so we can find areas of common interests, such as the fight against ISIS, so that we can find those areas of common interest and work on those fully together. I know we would like to resume those conversations with the Russians about that," she added.

Ryabkov said last week that after Washington had adopted a new round of anti-Russian sanctions, the atmosphere had not been inducive to a new round of bilateral talks on the accumulated "irritants" in Russia-US relations.

On June 20, the US Department of the Treasury added to a sanctions list 38 individuals and entities, including "two Russian government officials" and two individuals acting for or on behalf of a government official. Russians on the list included Deputy Minister of Economic Development Sergey Nazarov, the Federation Council member and Russian Presidential Special Representative for Cooperation with Russian Organizations Abroad, Alexander Babakov, and two of his employees - Alexander Vorobyev and Mikhail Plisyuk. The sanctions list also includes the Molot-Oruzhiye artillery and dummy weapons manufacturer and two companies of the Concord group run by Yevgeny Prigozhin. Eleven individuals and entities that operate in the Crimea region, still considered by the US as part of Ukraine, were also put under sanctions.

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