Ties could be destroyed if Washington seizes Moscow’s frozen assets, Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov has said
Russia-US relations could sink to a new low if Washington makes more “reckless” decisions regarding the Ukraine conflict, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has warned.
In an interview with Interfax published on Friday, the Russian official accused the US of pursuing a “misguided” and “dangerous” policy aimed at inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Moscow. These actions have left bilateral relations in a “comatose state,” Ryabkov said.
“I can’t rule out that at some point in the future… Washington won’t go below this near-zero level that our relations are currently at, if there is no brightening when it comes to… views on what is happening [regarding] Russia and Ukraine,” he stated.
A “complete breakdown” in ties is even possible, Ryabkov added, suggesting this would mean a dramatic reduction in the respective diplomatic presence in the two countries.
Even though the US is wary of completely dismantling relations, it is “not ready to find common ground… even in theory,” the diplomat further claimed.
According to Ryabkov, while the two powers continue dialogue in several narrow areas, this “equilibrium could collapse at any moment due to Washington’s recklessness.”
The seizure of Russian assets or military escalation could be among the triggers for a further deterioration, he said.
Ryabkov stressed that Russia is not seeking to sever ties, but cautioned that “the diplomatic relations in themselves are not a totem to be worshipped, or a sacred cow to be protected.” “We are ready for any scenario,” he emphasized.
Russia and the US could potentially restore relations, although this will be hard, Ryabkov acknowledged. “The problem is that it is extremely difficult for the US ruling circles to accept the changing world order. Many of them are simply organically incapable of moving away from thinking in terms of their own superiority,” he explained.
Ryabkov’s comments come after the New York Times reported on Thursday that the White House had intensified talks to seize $300 billion in Russian assets blocked in the West, which could be used to help Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denounced the freezing of its funds as “theft,” warning of retaliation if the West goes ahead with the confiscation of the assets.
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