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Russian ambassador to the US discusses Moscow recall


Russian ambassador to the US discusses Moscow recall

Russian ambassador to the US
Photo: Valery Sharifulin/ TASS/ Zuma Press

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov will meet with Russian foreign ministry staff today in Moscow to discuss US-Russia relations.

Russia’s foreign ministry recalled Antonov to Moscow following comments from US President Joe Biden criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin. Disputes over foreign policy, Russian interference in US elections and Putin’s autocratic leadership have chilled US-Russia relations in recent years. In response to the poisoning and imprisonment of Putin critic Alexei Navalny, the Biden administration levied new sanctions against Russia earlier this month. Moscow has promised to respond with retaliatory sanctions. Where previous US presidents—including Barack Obama—began their tenures attempting to ‘reset’ US-Russia relations, Biden’s condemnation of Putin sets the tone for an adversarial relationship with Moscow.

Expect Russian officials to urge Antonov to pursue sanctions relief by stressing potential areas of cooperation with the US, including arms control. However, relief is unlikely. US congressional support for Russian sanctions is widespread and bipartisan. A newly-released US intelligence community report detailing Russian attempts to intervene in the 2020 US election will likely further such support. Looking ahead, expect US-Russia relations to continue fraying. Moscow will likely respond to worsening relations by increasing military and political investments in states including Belarus and Syria, in bids to exert regional influence.

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