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Meeting with US offiials on bilateral relations to be held within days — Antonov

There are serious problems in Russian-US relations but Moscow is ready to settle them, Russian Ambassador to that country said

NEW YORK CITY, June 20. /TASS/. Russia's embassy in the United States plans to invite US colleague to discuss bilateral relations in the near future, Russian Ambassador to that country Anatoly Antonov said on Sunday upon arrival from Russia.

He answered in the negative when aske whether he had had contacts with the Americans. "We had brief contacts during the Geneva meeting. We agreed that as soon as we are back in the embassy, we will issue corresponding inquiries tomorrow morning and will wait for a reaction from our American colleagues to our invitation."

"Let me meet with the American olleagues," he told journalists. "Everything will be clear in some ten days. So far, it is too early."

A Russian-US summit took place in the Swiss capital city of Geneva on June 16. The initiative came from Washington. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Joe Biden of the United Statess discussed the current state of and prospects for further development of bilateral relations, issues of strategic stability, international matters, including cooperation in combating the Covid-19 pandemic and ironing out regional conflicts. The leaders also announced that the ambassadors would return to Moscow and Washington in the near future.

Problems in relations

There are serious problems in Russian-US relations but Moscow is ready to settle them, Antonov said. "We do have very serious problems. We are ready for a constructive dialogue, ready to try to resolve all the problems," he said.

He cited the situation with visas, including for journalists, as one of such problems. "This problem cannot be settled by means of requirements set forth by my American colleagues. It can be done on an equal basis only," he pointed out. "This is one of the problems to be discussed in detail."

The Russian foreign ministry said earlier that all categories of Russian citizens were suffering from the "inadequacy of the American visa policy." However, Russian visas to US nationals were issued without undue delays.

The US embassy said in April it would reduce the range of consular services from May 12. It said it would suspend consideration of applications for visas other than those for diplomatic trips. It motivated the move by Russia's decision to ban hiring foreign employees. Later, this decision was postponed to July 16.