Russia’s Ambassador to the US Says He Hasn’t Talked to Putin in Almost 5 Years

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov speaks at the Woodrow Wilson Institute on November 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov speaks on the Woodrow Wilson Institute on November 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

If anybody is aware of what Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering his nation’s relationship with the United States, it’s in all probability not the Russian ambassador to the United States. 

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s high diplomat within the U.S. since August 2017, advised Politico Monday that he hasn’t spoken with Putin since shortly earlier than he got here to the United States—whilst relations between the 2 powers have virtually fully damaged down within the two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Antonov downplayed his apparently nonexistent communication with Putin however expressed fear about the place relations between the 2 nations had been headed. 

“Frankly, we are in a blockade,” Antonov advised Politico. “When I came to Washington, my idea was to use the word ‘improvement’ to describe [Putin’s] goals for the relationship. Now I prefer to use the word ‘stabilization.’”

Within the previous yr, round 100 Russian embassy staff in D.C. have been expelled from the nation, in accordance with Politico—together with Antonov’s deputy, Sergey Trepelkov, who was expelled after the invasion in February. Around 170 staffers stay. Things are usually not a lot better on the U.S. embassy in Moscow: Nearly 90 p.c of the workers has left, with about 130 individuals remaining, together with U.S. Ambassador John J. Sullivan.

The Kremlin didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from VICE News on Antonov’s feedback.

Antonov was recalled to Russia final March for 3 months after Biden stated Russia would “pay a price” for interfering in U.S. elections, however apparently he didn’t meet with Putin through the three months he was dwelling. Sullivan, a Republican Trump appointee whom president Joe Biden has saved within the publish, briefly left Russia in April 2021 amid Russia’s buildup on the Ukraine border and U.S. sanctions in opposition to the nation, however he additionally returned to the nation in June. 

Putin’s battle has confronted repeated, surprising failures amid fierce resistance from the Ukrainian army and citizenry and greater than $2.5 billion in army help to Ukraine from the U.S. But regardless of not truly speaking to Putin, Antonov defended the Russian president’s mindset.

“He knows everything,” Antonov advised Politico. “He is able to study thoroughly each report that he gets from various services, and, just only after thoroughly studying these reports, he makes decisions taking into account the members of the security council of the Russian Federation.”

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