RIA Novosti: Moscow May Respond to Washington’s Actions – Russian Foreign Ministry

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) – The actions by the United States to curb ties with Russia may force a number of responses by Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday.

“We aren’t curtailing anything, but it’s clear that the situation that our [US] partners are creating in bilateral relations, may force a number of decisions that Washington won’t like, including plans to drop some contacts and processes, but that has never been, nor will it ever be our choice,” Ryabkov said.

Moscow regrets that the White House is unable to separate the country’s long-term interests from its short-term goals, he said.

“In regard to whether our American colleagues are ready to consider not only fears, but also concerns that have arisen from their plans of a further expansion of the global US anti-missile defense shield, that is not a question to pose to us, but a question to the State Department and the Pentagon,” Ryabkov said.

The US was not listening to Moscow’s concerns earlier, even before the dramatic events in Kiev began, he said, adding “they’re not listening now because they’re trying to get revenge, and stewing on the situation in Crimea, which is blinding the Americans.”

Relations between Russia and the US dropped to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War after Crimea held a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia last month.

In an attempt to penalize Russia for what the US considers illegal actions, the country’s administration has imposed economic sanctions targeting senior Russian officials.

Moscow insists the referendum was fully compliant with international law, and has reaffirmed its obligation to protect the Russian-speaking population of the peninsula, all the while voicing disagreement with the economic sanctions.

The Pentagon announced earlier in the day that it would halt negotiations with Russia on its controversial plans to build a missile shield in Europe.

The US space agency NASA officially announced it has suspended some space-related contacts with Russia amid tensions over Ukraine, but said it will continue working together on the International Space Station.

[featured image is file photo]