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Washington interested in stable relations with Moscow — Russian ambassador to US

Antonov expressed hope that Moscow and Washington would have "normal" and "pragmatic relations"

WASHINGTON, December 3. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov believes that Washington is interested in normal and predictable relations with Moscow, because they are important for global stability.

"It would be hard to isolate the Russian Federation. Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is a nuclear power and relations <…> between the United States of America and the Russian Federation have an effect on global stability," he told reporters on Friday. "I don’t think that our US colleagues are not interested in normal, stable, predictable relations."

Antonov expressed hope that Moscow and Washington would have "normal" and "pragmatic relations."

The ambassador said on Friday that Russia suggested zeroing out all limitations regarding the work of diplomatic missions on a reciprocal basis.

In response to anti-Russia sanctions declared by Washington in April and yet another expulsion of Russian diplomats, Moscow has introduced a ban on hiring Russian and third-country citizens by the US embassy in Russia. The US embassy in Moscow announced that beginning on May 12, it would reduce consular services, including suspending the issuance of non-diplomatic visas. The issuance of visas to diplomats has also considerably slowed down. Since August 1, the US Embassy in Russia has been operating with a skeleton staff of 120 employees. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has pointed out that nothing prevented the US embassy from filling the quota of 455 diplomats with American employees.