WASHINGTON, June 17. /TASS/. The United States and Russia agreed to see if they can work through the challenges in sustaining their diplomatic missions, a senior US administration official told a special briefing following a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Joe Biden of the United States.
"We agreed on the importance of having our ambassadors return to their respective capitals, and [US] Ambassador [to Russia] Sullivan, who’s here, hopefully has his bag packed and will be getting ready to go back to Moscow, and Ambassador Antonov will come back to Washington. And more broadly, to look to see if we can work through the challenges that we have in sustaining our diplomatic missions. So there’s an agreement to work on that," the official pointed out.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier that Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov would return to Washington by the end of the month.
The Russian ambassador was invited to Moscow for consultations following Biden’s interview with ABC News, in which he had said that the Russian authorities would have to "pay a price" for their alleged interference in US elections and upheld a disparaging remark about Putin. Antonov arrived in Moscow on March 21. US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan returned to Washington for consultations on April 22.
In December 2016, the US blocked access to two Russian-owned compounds in New York and Maryland. In September 2017, the US administration closed the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, the Russian trade mission in Washington and its branch in New York. In response, Moscow reduced the number of US diplomats in Russia and restricted the US embassy’s access to warehouses in southern Moscow and a compound in the Serebryany Bor disctirct.