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Russian Envoy To U.S. Suggests Reestablishing Military, Intelligence Contacts

Anatoly Antonov, Russia's new ambassador to the United States
Anatoly Antonov, Russia's new ambassador to the United States

Russia's new ambassador to the United States on August 30 called for re-establishing regular, direct contacts between Moscow's and Washington's military, intelligence, and foreign policy chiefs.

Military contacts between Moscow and Washington were frozen in 2014 after Russia illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, but the U.S. secretary of state and Russian foreign minister still meet at times.

In an interview published on Kommersant's website, Anatoly Antonov said "the time has come to resume joint meetings" regularly, and he also called for meetings between the heads of Russia's intelligence services and the U.S. CIA and FBI, saying that would further the fight against terrorism and cyberattacks.

He also suggested a "working cooperation" between Russia's Security Council and the U.S. National Security Council.

"We are interested in bringing bilateral relations back to normal," Antonov told Kommersant.

"The closer our countries get to each other, the stronger the international security becomes," he said. "I'm convinced
this serves the interests of the Russians and the Americans likewise."

Antonov's suggestion of increased cooperation comes amid multiple investigations in Washington over allegations that Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election and help then-Republican candidate Donald Trump, who was promising to improve relations with Russia.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Kommersant, TASS, and Interfax

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