Moscow ready to respond any hostile move, Russian FM warns

TEHRAN, Apr. 02 (MNA) – Noting that the return of the Russian ambassador to Washington is conditional, the Russian foreign minister stressed that Moscow is ready to respond to any hostile actions against the country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented over tensions in the country's relations with the European Union and the escalation of the crisis in relations between Moscow and Washington.

It is up to Russian President Vladimir Putin to decide when the country’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov will return to Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel One’s Great Game show on Thursday, TASS reported.

"It is up to Russian President Vladimir Putin to decide," he said in response to a question.

The ambassador was invited to Moscow for consultations following US President Joe Biden’s interview with ABC News, in which he had said that the Russian authorities would have to "pay a price" for their alleged interference in US elections.

In addition, when asked if he considered Putin to be "a killer," Biden answered in the affirmative. Antonov has held a number of meetings after arriving in Moscow on March 21.

"He has met with members of the State Duma [the lower house of parliament] Committee on International Affairs and the Federation Council [the upper house of parliament] <...> Committee on Foreign Affairs.

He has also held conversations with officials from the presidential executive office," Lavrov specified.

"It is important for us to analyze the situation in our relations, which did not emerge overnight or on the day of the interview but it took several years for things to reach this point.

The use of unacceptable wording during US President Joe Biden’s interview with ABC News made it clear that it was high time to carry out such an analysis.

It doesn’t mean that we used to watch the developments for years, without making any conclusions. The thing is that now the time has come to summarize things," the Russian top diplomat said.

"We have always warned that we are ready to respond. We will respond to any hostile actions against us - not necessarily in a symmetrical manner," the Minister said elsewhere in his remarks.

Commenting on a journalist’s remark that Europe probably simply forgot about Moscow’s ability to respond to the pressure, Lavrov noted, "What you’re saying, figuratively, is that they have either not read or, more likely, have forgotten the tale of Ilya of Murom, who slept on the stove and nobody noticed?"

The Minister underscored that "this is not a threat," adding that Russia reacts to restrictions in a manner, similar to that of China.

"Mind you, China did not respond with severance of economic activity. It simply sanctioned persons and companies that spoke from anti-Chinese positions too loudly. We act somewhat similarly," Lavrov said.


News Code 171577


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