ST. PETERSBURG, October 14. /TASS/. Moscow views the negotiations with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland held at Russia’s Foreign Ministry on October 12 as timely and sincere, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on the sidelines of the 3rd Eurasian Women’s Forum on Thursday.
"We generally assess the negotiations with Victoria Nuland held at the Foreign Ministry of Russia on October 12 as useful and timely," the Russian diplomat stressed.
"The talk was utmost sincere, without smoothing over acute aspects of numerous problems and irritants in bilateral relations, including the obstacles that Washington is artificially creating for the activity of Russian diplomatic missions and constantly-introduced visa and other restrictions, which we have to respond to," the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.
As Zakharova pointed out, the visit by Nuland who was on Russia’s reciprocal blacklist "became possible after the US side issued a visa to a Russian diplomat who had been repeatedly denied entry to the United States of America for the needs of his work."
The Russian diplomat was denied the entry, although he was going to visit the United Nations headquartered on US soil rather than the United States," the spokeswoman said.
"This is very important. The US has a commitment as a country hosting this international institution to ensure the normal work of both this structure and its staff, countries and representatives of countries who interact with each other on the UN premises," she pointed out.
"By refusing to issue a visa to the Russian diplomat, the United States grossly violated its commitments on many occasions," Zakharova said.
In a broader outline, the Russian side highlighted the need during the negotiations "to lift all the restrictions imposed on a tit-for-tat basis so that the embassies and consulates could operate normally," the spokeswoman said.
"We can state that despite the persisting crisis potential in bilateral relations, Moscow and Washington share the desire to maintain a dialogue in order to make the bilateral ties more stable and predictable," she pointed out.
"In this context, a further escalation in the Russian direction that the Russophobe forces in the United States are calling for can only exacerbate the already excessive confrontation between our countries," the spokeswoman said.
Moscow stated at the talks with Nuland that it was ready to establish contacts at all levels in compliance with the accords reached by Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, Zakharova pointed out.
The sides also touched upon other issues at the talks, in particular, "the issue of NATO’s dangerously intensifying activity in the close vicinity to the Russian borders, first of all, in Europe and in the Black Sea region," she said.
"It was again stated clearly and unambiguously that the deployment of the US or NATO military infrastructure in Central Asia is absolutely unacceptable for Russia," the spokeswoman stressed.
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nuland held a meeting on Wednesday with Russian Presidential Administration Deputy Head for Ukraine and the Minsk Accords Dmitry Kozak. The senior US diplomat called the negotiations productive. The US Undersecretary of State also held a meeting on the same day with Russian Presidential Aide for International Affairs Yuri Ushakov.
On October 12, Nuland held negotiations at Russia’s Foreign Ministry with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov that lasted an hour and a half. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin also took part in the meeting, the Foreign Ministry said.