Russia-US relations can worsen further, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Tuesday after meeting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland in Moscow.
The talks did not lead to any progress, on the contrary, there is a potential for possible further escalation if significant efforts to normalize ties are not made, Ryabkov told reporters in Moscow.
The diplomat said the problems of granting visas to officials along with difficulties in the work of the diplomatic missions of the two countries were topical at the meeting.
He warned that Moscow would like to avoid this scenario but does not rule out freezing the work of the diplomatic missions.
"We would like to avoid this. But we cannot rule out such a scenario, such an option in the worst-case scenario. But, I emphasize, we would like to avoid this," he said.
Ryabkov added he agreed with Nuland to hold additional consultations regarding the problems in the work of diplomatic missions and granting visas to officials.
The talk was "ultimately straight and useful," Ryabkov also added.
Nuland arrived in Moscow on Monday. Her visit will last until Oct. 13 and will cover a series of meetings with Russian government officials.
In addition to meeting with Ryabkov, Nuland will hold talks with Yury Ushakov, the presidential assistant for international affairs, and Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of the presidential administration./aa