WASHINGTON, August 3. /TASS/. Russia has repeatedly proposed to the US abandoning the restrictions on the operations of the embassies of the two countries, yet Washington continues to introduce even stricter limitations to the activities of Russian diplomats, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Monday night. His responses to journalists’ questions were published on the Russian Embassy’s Facebook page.
The ambassador commented on the remarks by US State Department Spokesman Ned Price on Moscow’s ban on hiring local personnel by the US Embassy. "If one listens to Mr. Ned Price, one may get the impression that the difficulties in the operations of the Russian mission emerged by Russia’s fault and only yesterday," the diplomat said. "We regret that [our] colleague was not ready for such a serious conversation with journalists and misled them with regards to the true state of affairs," he added.
According to him, Moscow for a long time was displaying restraint despite the "years-long, consistent and conscious worsening of the living and working conditions of Russian diplomats in the US." "This is both the takeover of our property, and the expulsions of staff when people were given only 72 hours to leave the country’s territory," the ambassador stated.
"Until the last moment we have been refraining from being enmeshed in the vicious loop of ‘exchanging blows.’ We repeatedly proposed to [our] colleagues ‘resetting’ the existing restrictions on our diplomatic missions on a mutual basis," he noted. "Those calls were not heard. Moreover, the working conditions of our staff continue to become tougher," the ambassador added.