MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Ice hockey might help "break the ice" between the United States and Russia to start a conversation about shared interests and values, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan told reporters on Saturday, while visiting an ice hockey match between Moscow’s clubs Spartak and Dinamo at the Arena CSKA stadium.
"I use this as an opportunity just upon my arrival to say, ‘Look, Americans and Russians have a lot in common, including the love of this game and what is going on on the ice," Sullivan said when asked about "hockey diplomacy" which he had promised earlier to promote in Russia.
"So it [hockey] is an opportunity for me to talk to the Russian people about things that we have in common and we love, to trade stories with hockey legends about the 1972 summit series and the 1987 series between Canada and the Soviet Union. It’s great fun for me, but it’s also, I think, a useful way to … break the ice and start a conversation about all of the interests and shared values that we have, Americans and Russians," he said.
"They asked me about hockey diplomacy," the ambassador went on to say. "It’s a game, but it’s something that Americans, and Russians, and Canadians, and Germans and Finns we have in common. We love this game."
On Saturday, John Sullivan took part in the ceremonial puck drop to start the Spartak-Dinamo game.
Sullivan arrived in Moscow on January 16 to replace Jon Huntsman in the position of US ambassador to Russia. Huntsman tendered his resignation in August 2019. On October 3, 2019, he ended his tenure as ambassador in Moscow. Sullivan had been US Deputy Secretary of State before his appointment as new Ambassador to Russia.