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WASHINGTON, August 4. /TASS/. Despite deteriorating ties, the United States and Russia still have areas of potential cooperation, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday.
"We are two nuclear superpowers. I think many folks around the world agree that the United States and Russia should be able to work together in areas of mutual cooperation," she said, commenting on Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s statement that the new law on anti-Russian sanctions was the end of any hope for improvement between the two countries under the present U.S. administration.
"If you look at the ceasefire in southwest Syria, that has now taken hold and, for the most part, succeeded for nearly a month now. That is an example of good U.S.-Russian cooperation," the spokesperson continued.
"Certainly our relationship is at a low point, but we have to find areas of mutual cooperation," Nauert went on. "There’s always hope for improvement. We know that people say extreme things, especially at heated times. I’m just not going to get into the specifics of that, but we have areas where we can work together and will work together."
Responding to further questions from the media, the spokesperson said the US was currently thinking on its response to Moscow’s announcement that Washington should equal the number of its diplomatic and technical staff working in Russia to the exact number of the Russian diplomats and technical staff working in the US. The move came in response to the bill on new ant-Russian sanctions adopted by the US Congress.
Commenting on the move, Nauert said that the situation will affect Russians working in the US diplomatic missions in Russia.
However, the US diplomat said that Washington would pursue its goal " to hold Russia accountable" for its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis.
"Just because we want to find areas of cooperation and to improve the relationship in - with Russia where we can because they are also a nuclear superpower does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to some of the bad acts that they are involved with, such as Ukraine.
Nauert said Washington hasn’t made a final decision on whether it was going to provide lethal weaponry described as defensive weapons to Ukraine, although this option remains on table so far.