23:54 GMT +318 February 2019
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    Moscow Suggests Twitter as Info Channel Amid DoS Denial of Invitation Receipt

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy in Washington DC on Thursday offered to send a formal invitation for a meeting between the Russian and US foreign ministers via Twitter, after the US State Department denied receiving it by more conventional means.

    "Twitter seems to be more reliable and quicker communication channel (under your government control) on urgent issues. We are ready to share copies of our ‘formal invitations’ via DM [Direct Message]," the embassy’s spokesman Nikolay Lakhonin tweeted.

    ​Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Monday that Russia had proposed holding a meeting between the two top diplomats, after which State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert suggested that Washington had not received the request.

    Heather Nauert reiterated on Thursday that no official invitation had been received from Russia for a meeting between State Secretary Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Ethiopia.

    "We never received a formal invitation. I said that the other day and I stand by that today. We never received a formal invitation," Nauert said on Thursday.

    The spokesperson said the two top diplomats have maintained contact throughout the year: they've met in person at least nine times and have spoken by phone on multiple occasions. She noted Tillerson has a very tight schedule during his trip to Africa.

    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson himself had offered to find a convenient time and place for the meeting, after they failed to meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN Security Council session. Both ministers are in Ethiopia on Friday.


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