Antonov and Johnson met on December 21 to discuss Russian-US relations. It was the first meeting with US lawmakers for the Russian ambassador after he had been appointed in September. Previously, he only met with the representatives of the US Administration.
"We have discussed the need, the possibility, the prospects for the resumption of inter-parliamentary contacts. I would like to stress, however, that we will not be begging [for that]," Antonov told the RTVI channel on Friday.
The ambassador noted that he had sent the requests for meeting to many US senators and lamented that only one such meeting took place so far.
The inter-parliamentary cooperation between the countries was suspended against the background of Ukrainian crisis, which erupted in 2014 and Crimea's reunification with Russia in the March of the same year. Washington and its allies accused Moscow of interfering in the domestic affairs of Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Kremlin denied all accusations regarding meddling in the situation in eastern Ukraine and repeatedly insisted that Crimea rejoined Russia in line with the international law as a result of a plebiscite.
The relations further worsened when US intelligence community accused Russia of meddling in 2016 presidential election to aid then-Republican candidate Donald Trump to claim victory. Moscow called the allegations "absurd" and refuted them as groundless.
Renaming Street After Politician Nemtsov
Russia will accept any decision of US authorities regarding renaming a street in Washington D.C. after late Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said.
Earlier in December, a committee of US District of Columbia Council unanimously approved designation the part of the Wisconsin Avenue between Davis and Edmunds streets, where Russian Embassy is located, as Boris Nemtsov Plaza. The city council is now expected to vote on the bill on January, after which, if adopted, it will have to be signed by the mayor.
"It is up to US authorities to decide where, when and after who name this or that street… We will accept any US decision on the matter," Antonov told the RTVI broadcaster on Friday.
Boris Nemtsov occupied a number of senior positions in the Russian government in the 1990s and was an active opposition figure in the 2000s. He was shot dead in February 2015 in downtown Moscow while walking together with a friend.