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LAVROV: Russia not seeking quarrels with US

According to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia genuinely wants the bilateral political atmosphere to normalize.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before their meeting at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, November 9, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR4DFVZ

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is not seeking quarrels with the United States and will always have a friendly attitude toward the US people, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.

“As the president said many times, we are not seeking quarrels with this country. We have always had a friendly attitude toward the US people, we remain open to constructive cooperation in areas which correspond to US interests,”

Lavrov said during a meeting with students of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

According to the minister, Russia genuinely wants the bilateral political atmosphere to normalize.

“As you know, it takes two to tango, but our US partners keep breakdancing individually,”

he added.

Lavrov also stressed that Russia would continue to advance positive agenda, approaches based on mutual respect, as well as seek compromises.

US-Russian relations have been deteriorating during the past years over Moscow’s alleged interference in the Ukrainian crisis and the 2016 US presidential election. Washington has adopted several rounds of sanctions targeting Russia, regardless of the fact that Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations.

As part of the restrictions, in December 2016, the United States expelled 35 Russian diplomats and banned Russia from access to two diplomatic compounds. Moscow responded in July, announcing that the diplomatic presence of the United States in Russia would be scaled down by 755 people to 455, the same number of diplomatic personnel Russia has in the United States.

On August 2, US President Donald Trump enacted a law, tightening the sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran and most recently, on Thursday, the United States demanded that Russia shut down its Consulate General in San Francisco and two other diplomatic entities in New York City and Washington, DC by September 2.

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