Аmbassador Antonov Meets McFaul and Denounces Witch-Hunt Mentality In a Debate In San-Francisco
Meanwhile, charges were officially filed yesterday against Trump's former National Security Adviser, General Flynn. He admitted to making a false statement to the FBI including concealing his contacts with the former Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
Kislyak's successor, the current Russian ambassador, Anatoly Antonov met the notorious Michael McFaul in California. Alexander Khristenko reports.
Despite the State Department denying us access to the captured Russian Consulate in San Francisco, ambassador Anatoly Antonov still came here and examined it from the outside. Several hours later, he held a speech in Silicon Valley, at Stanford University, where he spoke about the illegal actions of the American government.
Antonov was introduced to the students and experts by the former American ambassador to Russia and a professor at Stanford, Michael McFaul.
Michael McFaul, Ambassador to Russia in 2012-2014: «Ambassador Antonov actively took part in the START III negotiations. Together with my team and his counterpart, Rose Gottemoeller, they managed to reduce the number of nuclear arms in the world by 30% in 2010. That's what he did.»
That's what countries can achieve when there's a direct and open dialogue. Now, at the initiative of Washington almost all ties are severed. Antonov claims that the American media is running an unprecedented defamation campaign against Russia. Even Americans feel it.
— What do you think about the demonization campaign against Putin?
Anatoly Antonov, Ambassador to the US: «We are very concerned about what's happening in your media. I see that they are blaming Russia for everything, and that Russia is always responsible. Now they claim we interfered with the referendum in Catalonia, and the German elections, and the elections in the United Kingdom. Sometimes, it seems Russia is responsible for the bad weather in Washington and New York».
Another round of suspicions: the FBI charged the former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, with perjury. At first, he denied that in early 2016 he had a conversation with Sergey Kislyak urging Moscow not to impose counter-sanctions. A scoop for the US media! Unfortunately, there hasn't been any evidence of Trump's team colluding with Russia.
Anatoly Antonov, Ambassador to the US: «The Chinese say: 'It's rather difficult to find a black cat in a dark room especially when it's empty.' That's what the media is doing to Russia. I think the Russian-American relations became hostage to the internal issues between the Democrats and Republicans».
Washington was the first to make lists of sanctioned Russians. Moscow mirrored its decision. The Russian stop-list had McFaul's name on it as well. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, he deliberately marred bilateral relations.
Michael McFaul: «I terribly miss Russia. I love Russia. I had been living there for several years. I've got hundreds or thousands of Russian friends. As you know, I'm currently on the stop-list. I asked Ambassador Antonov for help. Maybe you'll ask him later, what he can do about it?»
This single case clearly shows the need to change the general approach. Antonov underlined that Moscow is ready to converse with Washington as equals.
When bilateral relations are in a dire state it's crucially important to communicate with the local scientists and students because it's universities like Stanford that prepare the experts that will sooner or later hold negotiations with their Russian counterparts.
Alexander Khristenko, Nikolay Koskin Saturday Vesti, California, USA.