Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

July 28, 2017

On July 28, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Sergey Lavrov emphasised that the decision to even out the number of employees in US and Russian diplomatic missions and to suspend the use of two properties by the US Embassy is the result of a series of hostile steps by Washington. Such actions include illegal anti-Russian sanctions and slanderous accusations against Russia, the mass expulsion of diplomats and expropriation of our diplomatic property.
The Minister emphasised that Russia did all it could to improve relations and showed restraint in response to US provocations. However, recent events demonstrated that US politics have been captured by the Russophobic forces that have been pushing Washington toward the path of confrontation. The limited and absolutely adequate measures we took are not an “eye for an eye” response but a forced step that is fully consistent with international practice and is aimed at protecting lawful Russian interests in the hope that the US side will finally reflect on the adverse consequences of its policies.
Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed that Russia still stands ready to normalise bilateral relations with the United States and cooperate on major international issues. However, this is only possible on the basis of equality, mutual respect and a balance of interests.
The officials agreed to continue contacts on all issues of Russian-US relations.