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Russian ambassador calls US 'Kremlin List' another unfriendly step

Russia's ambassador to the US says Moscow seeks to prevent the total collapse of relations with Washington

WASHINGTON, January 30. /TASS/. Having issued the so-called Kremlin List, the United States has made yet another unfriendly step, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Tuesday.

"Naturally, these sanctions mean nothing good for the Russian-US relations. It’s not very pleasant to wake up every morning in the United States knowing that yet another unfriendly step against Russia can be made," he said. Those in the United States who are behind the initiators of the so-called Kremlin List are seeking to bury in oblivion the experience of cooperation between our countries in the past, he said.

"We will never accept the United State’s vision of Russia as an adversary," he said. "I disagree with that categorically. I am absolutely sincere telling this because the entire experience of our joint work, or our co-existence proves that we are not adversaries. Suffice it to remember our rich experience of joint fight against Nazism, which fact is often ignored here."

"Suffice it to remember our rich experience of joint fight against Nazism, which fact is often ignored here. As though there have never been such page in our history. But it would not be an exaggeration to say that our partnership, our cooperation, our allied relations was sealed with blood, was sealed with the Elbe spirit," Antonov said, referring to the historic Meeting of the Elbe in Germany where US and Soviet troops met on April 25, 1945.

According to the Russian ambassador, Moscow is seeking to prevent the total collapse of relations with Washington. "I would not want all the good things achieved in the recent years to be destroyed, or, as Vladimir Putin said, reduced to zero," Antonov said. "Undoubtedly, everything may be built or restored but I would really prefer not to spend time on restoration and building relations from scratch. Even now, not everything has been destroyed - together with our colleagues in Moscow, we have been making every possible effort to prevent the total collapse of this building which is Russia-US relations."

"I have repeatedly said that we highly appreciate it, we appreciate cultural ties and our ties in the areas of science, space, fisheries. But today all the attention is focused on this notorious and absolutely senseless ‘Kremlin List’ or on some extra sanctions," he noted.

While commenting on the release of the so-called Kremlin List, the ambassador said that he viewed it "as a serious attempt to undermine Russia’s military ties with other countries." "Just remember the previous sanctions, particularly those related to the Nord Stream, when the Americans suddenly became concerned over the energy independence of their Western European partners. The current situation is similar to that - they are trying to use unscrupulous, dishonest and crooked competition tools to get the best place under the sun. Today, everyone knows perfectly well that Russian weapons are the best, they are of the highest quality, while they cost less that US weapons," Antonov noted.

According to him, the documents released by the Trump administration "will have some negative influence on the countries that cooperate with Russia in the defense and intelligence fields." "We export our weapons and will continue to do that," the ambassador went on to say. "We do that in accordance with international law and do not violate any of the United Nations Security Council resolutions. For us, as we have always said, unilateral sanctions are not a legally binding order," he added.

"The US takes advantage of its administrative resources and influence to deal a blow on Russia’s military and technical cooperation with other countries. Despite its attempts to beat us and enter the Southeast Asian market, the recent visit that Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu made there proves that the countries of the region keep a close eye on our latest achievements and prefer to cooperate with Russia," Antonov noted.

On January 22, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Alexander Fomin said that during Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Myanmar on January 20-22, the two countries reached an agreement that Russia would supply six Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to Myanmar. According to Fomin, Myanmar’s armed forces are highly satisfied with the Russian weapons they already have. "That particularly includes Mil Mi-24, Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters, Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets, Yakovlev Yak-130 jet trainers, Pechora-2 air defense missile systems and other equipment," he specified.