US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said in an interview with Dozhd TV that his only task as an ambassador is to “protect Americans in Russia” and also to ensure that “Russia fulfills its obligations arising from international treaties and consisting in ensuring due process of law and protection of human rights ”.
However, he stressed that he is not a supporter of “a specific candidate from a specific party or a specific person.” “I do not interfere – we do not interfere in internal political debates in Russia. This is a matter for the Russians, Sullivan said. “Likewise, we Americans believe that our democracy is carried out as a result of discussions among Americans themselves, with opinions that are expressed from outside.”
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador due to warnings from the American embassy about planned actions in support of Alexei Navalny. The text of the warnings noted that the rallies were not authorized by the authorities and advised US citizens to avoid demonstrations or related events.
Speaking about the situation around Alexei Navalny, the American diplomat said in an interview that there are “a number of aspects of serious concern for the United States in this case.”
“The first is the use of prohibited chemical weapons, which we believe requires an explanation, as does the very existence of such weapons,” Sullivan said. “And the second is the human rights issue, which is associated first with the poisoning of Mr. Navalny, and then, after his recovery, with his arrest after returning to Russia. You have heard statements made at all levels, from President Biden to lower-level officials. Therefore, our position is completely clear, and this is not only the position of the United States – it is adhered to by various countries, especially in Europe. ”
Sullivan also said that the United States and the European Union do not plan to ease the sanctions against Moscow imposed due to the annexation of Crimea.
Washington’s approach to Ukraine and the Minsk agreements does not change, the diplomat stressed. According to him, the United States will continue the dialogue on Donbass in different formats, including Normandy.
“I know that this issue is a high priority for the current administration and for President Biden, and that he raised the issue of Ukraine in his conversation with President Putin. You know, the position of the US government on Ukraine has remained unchanged over the past seven years with already three administrations … – said John Sullivan. “We will not ease the sanctions, in any case, neither the United States nor our allies and partners intend to weaken the sanctions imposed as a result of these events.”
At the same time, the ambassador noted that even with many disagreements, Washington and Moscow have many areas where they continue to conduct a dialogue in the interests of global security. For example, the Iranian nuclear program, prevention of a new conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the fight against international terrorism. Sullivan recalled that thanks to the information provided by the United States under President Donald Trump, a serious terrorist attack was prevented in Russia, and this was gratefully received by the Russian leadership at the highest level.
“There are over a thousand American companies operating in Russia. The ties between the citizens of the United States and Russia are now much more multifaceted than 30-40 years ago, when my predecessors, the US ambassadors, worked in conditions of tense relations with the Soviet Union .., the US Ambassador said. – We continue to interact with the Russian government on a variety of issues. On some of them – on many – we have disagreements, but there are issues on which we come to an agreement, such as the extension of the START-3 treaty. ”
Answering a question about the situation in Belarus, Sullivan emphasized that the United States stands for the right of the Belarusian people to freely express their views, including through fair and transparent elections. And this right must be respected by all countries without exception, the American diplomat added.