MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. Washington will continue the policy of pressure on Russia, especially in the human rights issue, Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on the YouTube channel Solovyev Live on Saturday.
"It is obvious to me <...> that the policy of pressure on us will persist. It is evident to me that the issue of human rights will be one of the central irritants in the Russian-US relations," he said.
Antonov has said that there is a basis for stabilization of Russia-US relations, and the Russia-US summit in Geneva demonstrated positive signals and attitude.
Russian ambassador emphasized that his task is "to keep defending national interests, while trying to stabilize the Russian-US relations."
"It seems to me that there is a foundation for that. In particular, of course, is the positive spirit, let me say so, of Geneva, the positive tone, the positive signals that I saw and heard myself during the talks between our two presidents," the diplomat said on the YouTube channel Solovyev Live on Saturday.
Nevertheless, the ambassador pointed out that it would be rash to say now that certain dramatic shifts in Russian-US relations have already taken place.
"Today is the 11th day since I arrived in the United States. We are trying to create a situation in which it would be difficult to forget what our presidents talked about. We are trying today to implement practical deeds, the understandings that I thought existed, that were demonstrated by our leaders. As for us, we are ready for that," Antonov stressed.
Additionally, the diplomat said that Washington did not meet all of his requests for meetings after he returned to his workplace, so he was unable to fulfill some instructions of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"I want to tell you that I managed to hold several meetings at the White House and the Department of State. I will also tell you that not all of my requests were met, I was not able to fulfill some of the instructions of the Foreign Ministry’s leadership, since, as in earlier times, I simply was not received. They sent me to minor officials in the Russian department, which I certainly turned down," he said.
Russia and the United States do "brainwork" to exchange the Russian nationals who are in custody in the US for the Americans serving sentences in Russia.
"I would say carefully now. Some brainwork is ongoing on this issue. After all, we do not have two Russians, who are in jail [in the US], as there are about a hundred people," the diplomat said.