Kremlin postpones indefinitely return of Russian ambassador to U.S.
The return to the United States of Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, who was recalled on March 21 after a series of harsh statements by President Joe Biden, is postponed indefinitely.
“Antonov will not return to Washington in the near future,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
The decision will be made "depending on what steps will be taken by Washington on the bilateral track," he explained.
"We expect that they will still be able to demonstrate a desire for at least a relative normalization of our relations and something visible in this regard. We hope they will attempt to do something visible and noticeable," Antonov said.
A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told TASS that now "everything depends on the American side."
In an interview with ABC, Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer” and said that Putin would "pay" for meddling in the U.S. elections.
The consultations that Antonov is conducting in Moscow with the presidential administration, the Foreign Ministry, the State Duma and Federation Council are not yet finished, the source told TASS: "This work is in full swing, and we will continue it together with Anatoly Ivanovich."
The decision to return the ambassador is in Putin's hands, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on April 1. “It is important for us to analyze the current state of our relations, which was created not in one day, not at the time of the interview, but was formed over the years. The use of unacceptable language during Joe Biden’s interview with ABC showed the urgency of such a large analysis. This does not mean that all these years we have simply observed and did not draw conclusions. But, now, it's time for general conclusions," Lavrov said.