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Russia Cancels Talks With US After New Sanctions

  • VOA News

FILE - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is seen during talks at United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland, Oct. 15, 2013. Ryabkov was to meet Friday with U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon.

Russian officials reacted to new sanctions unveiled by the U.S. by canceling upcoming talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon.

Ryabkov said that “the situation is not conducive to holding a round of this dialogue.”

The U.S. State Department expressed regret at the cancellation of Friday's talks. "We regret that Russia has decided to turn away from an opportunity to discuss bilateral obstacles that hinder U.S.-Russia relations," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced additional sanctions on Russia and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions target 38 Russian and pro-Russian individuals and entities tied to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, including two high-level Russian officials, Deputy Economy Minister Sergey Nazarov and Russian lawmaker Alexander Babakov.

A Kremlin spokesman said the move was not constructive and said "various [retaliatory] options are being considered on an expert level."

Russia-U.S. relations remain tense. The White House has been considering a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting in Germany in July.

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