The US ambassador to Russia said Monday that Washington and Moscow should not shut down their embassies, warning such a move would be a “big mistake.”
Ambassador John Sullivan told Russia’s Tass news agency that the US and Russia should continue the dialogue, although the Biden administration has cut off most high-level contacts with Russia.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, President Biden has not spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not held talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador in Washington, has said he can’t get meetings with senior Biden officials and described the situation as the embassy being under “blockade.”
The only known high-level talks between the two nations that have occurred since the invasion started were between military officials. In May, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, which was followed by a call between US Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian general staff.
When asked what he thought about the future of US-Russia relations, Sullivan painted a bleak picture. The 62-year-old ambassador said he didn’t think there would be a chance for the two nations to have a more productive relationship in his lifetime.
“It may not be in my lifetime but there will be, I hope, an opportunity for a greater reconciliation, certainly between the peoples and the countries,” he said.