Russia will not continue bilateral consultations with the United States on problems in relations after the expansion of US anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a comment posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website Wednesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US Department of State announced in a release Tuesday that US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon would travel to Russia on Friday to hold a meeting with Ryabkov.
"As is known, there were plans for the next few days to continue bilateral consultations on 'irritants' in the Russian-US relations, to find ways out of the extremely difficult situation to which the US side has driven partnership and cooperation with Russia. After yesterday's decision on sanctions, the situation does not suggest holding a round of such a dialogue, especially as there is no content for it," Ryabkov said.On June 20, the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) introduced sanctionsagainst some 40 individuals and entities on the pretext of their alleged involvement in the ongoing conflict in Donbass. The new sanctions include freezing of assets subject to US jurisdiction and prohibit US individuals from doing business with them. The Department of the Treasury’s move comes after the US Senate voted in favor of extending sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election on June 14.
Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea's decision to rejoin Russia. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russiaon the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.