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Russian Envoy: US Not Ready for Diplomatic Fix to Ukraine Crisis, Prefers Keeping 'Controlled Heat'

© Sputnik / Konstantin MikhalchevskyRussian 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer firing at Ukrainian forces. December 2022
Russian 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer firing at Ukrainian forces. December 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States is not in the mood for a diplomatic settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, they are in favor of "maintaining a controlled heat," Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.
"Today, the Americans are not in the mood to solve the situation that has developed on Ukrainian territory through diplomacy. They unequivocally say that we cannot stop, we must move forward, we must continue to stuff the Ukrainian army with various weapons," the diplomat said on the air of the Big Game show.
"Moreover, today, it seems to me, it is about maintaining a controlled heat in hostilities on Ukrainian territory."
"The Americans, I think, are well aware that they will not be able to win using only weapons and with the help of cannon fodder in the form of Ukrainian soldiers," he added.
The Russian ambassador further noted that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and space cooperation were remaining the only areas in which dialogue with Washington was remained ongoing.
"And what do we have left with the Americans? Well, perhaps today we can name cooperation in space and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and even then with flaws," Antonov said.
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However, the Russian envoy did note that Moscow hopes the Russia-US dialogue on the normalization of the work of embassies both in Washington and Moscow continues after the arrival of US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy.
"Recently, I had a very fruitful and, I think, constructive meeting with new US Ambassador Lynne Tracy. Before she left, we told her about the issues Russian diplomatic representatives face here in America," Antonov recalled. "We made a number of concrete suggestions on how to facilitate the work of both the Americans and our diplomats in the United States."
"We hope that the American [Tracy] will quickly settle in her new place, and we will be able to continue the dialogue on creating normal working conditions for our diplomats," the ambassador added.
Antonov noted that about 40 Russian diplomats had to leave the Russian embassy in Washington and return home, adding that "several dozen more will leave by July 1."
The Wednesday comments also touched on how the US is circumventing limitations on the work of the US embassy in Moscow by hiring over 130 staffers who are not US citizens.
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"Today, by the way, it is obvious that the Americans do not fully comply with the Russian restrictions. They are trying to circumvent them. According to official information only, there are more than 130 so-called administrative staff at the US embassy today who are not US citizens," he said.
The ambassador added this is of the reasons why "we cannot get rid of the shortage in our personnel." He said that these are communication specialists, electricians, mechanics, drivers, carpenters, the kind of personnel that are required "to keep the offices and living quarters of Russian diplomatic missions in good condition."
The Russian government in April 2021 retaliated against then-implemented US sanctions by opting to expel 10 American diplomats and added the US to its list of unfriendly countries. By doing such, the move also barred Washington from hiring Russians or third country nationals to its embassy staff.
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