15:19 GMT24 July 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has congratulated Russian citizens on Russia National Day ahead of the upcoming meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.

    "On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I congratulate the citizens of Russia as you celebrate Russia Day. This holiday marks the significant step Russia made on June 12, 1991, when it held its first free, open, and fair elections, and adopted the Declaration of Russian State Sovereignty", Blinken said in a statement.

    The secretary of state went on to reaffirm the United States' desire to actively engage with the Russian government "in the interest of promoting a more stable and predictable bilateral relationship".

    Russians Celebrate National Holiday - Russia Day
    © Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov
    Russians Celebrate National Holiday - Russia Day
    "Likewise, we remain steadfastly committed to supporting the Russian people as they continue to build on the aspirations outlined in the Declaration of Russian State Sovereignty and their desire to work together with the international community and cooperate peacefully on matters of global concern", Blinken noted.

    The US-Russia summit is scheduled for Wednesday and will take place amid heightened tensions in relations between Moscow and Washington as ties have significantly deteriorated since Joe Biden's inauguration in January. Biden will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

    Antony Blinken, National Day celebrations, national day, US, Russia
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