US Worried About Russia, China Moving Closer Together – Russian Ambassador
19:28 GMT 05.02.2022 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 06.08.2022)
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin/
MOSCOW, (Sputnik) -The Russian and Chinese leaders met on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Friday to reaffirm their close ties in the face of US pressure, prompting a wave of media attention in the West.
Fears are growing in the United States that Russia is moving closer to China, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Saturday.
"Of course, the message [media coverage] was very negative. There were clear concerns about Russia and China moving closer together," Antonov said on the Solovyov Live show.
The news comes amid growing tensions regarding the situation in Ukraine, with the United States and European Union voicing concerns over the Russian military buildup at the Ukrainian border, and NATO urging allies to enhance their military support for Kiev.
Speaking on the matter, Antonov said that his country was not preparing for an invasion of Ukraine and had no interest in doing so.
"Russia does not plan to attack anyone. There is nothing to gain from it. It is not in our interest," Antonov said on Solovyov Live, adding that any claims of an imminent attack on Ukraine were "nonsense."
In addition, the Russian ambassador said that he expects the United States to order 28 Russian diplomats to leave by July, although he promised that Russia would continue to make efforts to avoid a diplomatic breakdown.
The 27 Russian diplomats who were told last November to leave the US by the end of this January were threatened with arrest if they lingered a day longer, the ambassador said.
Asked whether the two countries were on the brink of cutting off diplomatic ties, the ambassador said that President Vladimir Putin would decide on the next steps.
"This falls in the competence of our president," he said, adding that the embassy would "work until the last diplomat to defend our national interest while trying to normalize the US-Russian relationship."
Russian diplomats last met with their American counterparts in Vienna on February 3, Antonov said, but the meeting failed to produce any positive results.
"Russian colleagues came there with a positive program that was aimed solely at removing all limits on diplomatic work in the US and Russia, allowing diplomats to work as usual, ending the visa war and restoring the functions of our diplomatic missions," he explained.