Moscow fully prepared to bury relations with Washington before Biden takes office

4 weeks ago
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Moscow is not going to initiate any contacts with the transition team of US President-elect Joe Biden, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov said. One can draw certain conclusions from Ryabkov’s statements about Moscow’s intentions regarding the prospects of relations with the United States.

US-Russian relationship has been at the abysmal level lately. The United States is still paranoid about the Russian hackers, who, as US officials claim, enjoy the support of the Russian authorities. Judging by Joe Biden’s comments, he has no doubts that Russia was involved in the recent hacker attack and promised tough measures in return. In fairness, Joe Biden has always been convinced that Russia is always involved in everything negative that happens.

The US Department of Commerce has recently introduced new sanctions against dozens of Russian companies. According to the Americans, those companies are associated with Russia and Chinese  armed forces. This does not change the essence of the matter, though.

No prospects whatsoever

Judging by Sergei Ryabkov’s interview with Interfax, Moscow does not see any prospects to even stabilize relations with the United States. The US views Russia as an adversary (and even as an enemy, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said), Sergei Ryabkov noted.

“… When we tell the Americans – colleagues, all this looks indecent, colleagues – they simply do not understand what we are talking about. What does indecent mean? If you are an adversary, then you should stay in your trench, and we will do everything to make it worse and more difficult for you. This is the essence of the US-led policy in the Russian direction, it is very clear,” Sergei Ryabkov said when commenting Washington’s sanctions policy.

Judging by the words of the diplomat, Russia is ready for a long stagnation in relations with the United States. In addition, it is up to the Americans to initiate a recovery.

“When they have an interest, they’re welcome – they have all the addresses, the Foreign Ministry has not moved anywhere. People who work in Washington know very well what to do and how, if such impulses follow, so welcome. If there is no such attitude, then everything will continue as it is now,” said Sergei Ryabkov.

Why does Russia keep silent?

Ryabkov also commented on the situation with cyber attacks.

“Every day we register malicious activity from servers located outside the Russian Federation, and American sources of various kinds of attacks are in the foreground, as a rule. We do not advertise all this, we do not present it as a sensation,” he said.

Mr. Ryabkov does not see any reasons for discussing the most recent story related to questions of cybersecurity. He recalled that at the end of September, the Russian president suggested a dialogue on security issues in cyberspace. However, no response followed from Washington.

“Since the United States is not ready for such a decision, nor dos it want to discuss it, we proceed from the assumption that they have a different political orientation. No matter what we might do, no matter what refutations we might give, no matter what rhetorical methods we might use to refute this, the situation will not change. Therefore, I do not see a subject for discussion on this topic,” said Sergei Ryabkov.

The only thing that is not clear why Russia prefers not to publicize cyberattacks conducted by US hackers. Clearly, the Americans have many years of experience in such propaganda, but why keep silent? Why try to maintain decency if the adversary does not even try?

Judging by what Sergei Ryabkov said, Russia is not going to make any initiatives to recover the relations with the United States. Needless to say that Washington has no such intention either. So what’s next?

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