Russian envoy to US returns to Moscow

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Russian envoy to US returns to Moscow
Washington: The Russian Embassy in Washington confirmed that the country’s Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov has returned to Moscow for consultations after he was recalled late last week.

“Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov is on his way to Moscow to participate in consultations on rectifying Russia-US relations,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Embassy as saying in a Facebook post on Saturday.

The Embassy also posted two pictures along with the post, one showing Antonov, in a black jacket, at an airport and the other, an airplane, which appeared to be the one the Ambassador would fly in, with a Russian flag on the outside surface of the cockpit.

Antonov flew from New York, as there is no direct flight between Washington and Moscow amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

He will arrive in Moscow on Sunday.

Russia recalled its top envoy in the US after President Joe Biden said in an ABC News interview on March 17 that Russia will “pay a price” for its alleged interference in the 2020 American election.

A US intelligence report released the previous day directly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering a wide-ranging influence operation to interfere in the election, intending to hurt Biden’s campaign.

In the ABC News interview, Biden also agreed with the interviewer’s claim that Putin was “a killer”.

Responding directly to Biden’s remarks, Putin said on March 18: “I would say to him: I wish you good health. I say that without irony or joking.

“I would like to offer President Biden (the opportunity) to continue our discussion, but on condition that we’ll do so what is called live, online. Without anything pre-recorded, in an open and direct discussion.

“It seems to me, it would be interesting both for the Russian people and for the US people, as well as for many other countries.”

Asked by reporters whether Biden regretted the “killer” statement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on March 18: “Nope. The President gave a direct answer to a direct question.”

She added Washington still wishes to develop its relationship with Moscow.

But, Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said: “The current US administration never ceases to surprise us with its absurd public statements.

“It’s not just about the unseemly attacks against Russia’s top officials, but also the absurd accusations of Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election in the US.”


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