Ukraine war: US ambassador urges Russia not to close embassy

John Sullivan says Washington and Moscow ‘must preserve the ability to speak to each other’, Russian state media reports.

Sullivan says it would be a ‘big mistake’ if Russia and the US were to close embassies [File: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo]
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Russia should not close the US embassy despite the crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine because the world’s two biggest nuclear powers must continue to talk, the US ambassador to Moscow has been quoted as saying.

When asked whether the two countries’ embassies could be shut down, John Sullivan told the Russian state news agency TASS on Monday that such a move would be “a big mistake”.

President Vladimir Putin has presented the invasion of Ukraine as a turning point in Russian history: a revolt against the hegemony of the United States, which the president says has humiliated Russia since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine – and its Western allies – says it is fighting for its survival against a reckless imperial-style land grab which has killed thousands, displaced more than 10 million people and reduced swathes of the country to wasteland.

In a clear attempt to send a message to the Kremlin, Sullivan, who was appointed US ambassador by President Donald Trump, told TASS that Washington and Moscow should not break off diplomatic relations.

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