- Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Politico he has been iced out by officials in DC.
- Antonov also said that he has not spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin in years.
- The two have not had a conversation since before Antonov left for Washington in 2017, Antonov said.
Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov says he has been iced out by officials in Washington amid Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine — and that he has not spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin in years.
“Frankly, we are in a blockade,” Antonov, 66, told Politico of himself and his emptying embassy in an exclusive interview published on Monday.
According to Politico, the Russian envoy cannot get meetings with senior officials at the White House or the US State Department.
US lawmakers have also refused to meet with Antonov since the election of President Joe Biden and they won’t even take a picture with him, according to the news outlet.
Antonov told Politico that diplomatic relations have not been totally cut, however, and that the Russian embassy still has “technical,” or lower-level, contacts with the Biden administration.
The disconnect cannot go on forever, Antonov told Politico during the interview, which was conducted last week in the Ukrainian Room of the Russian embassy in Washington DC.
“We are doomed to cooperate on various issues,” Antonov said. “It’s impossible to imagine even under such circumstances that problems of strategic stability, climate change, coronavirus, fighting against terrorism, fighting against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction could be solved without active engagement of the United States and Russia.”
The White House and the US State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment by Insider on Monday.
A State Department spokesperson told Politico: “The Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs maintains diplomatic communications with the Russian Embassy in DC. It’s a difficult relationship, but the lines of communication remain open.”
Meanwhile, Antonov told Politico that not even Putin talks to him.
The two have not had a conversation since before Antonov left for his post in Washington in 2017, Antonov told Politico.
And they’ve had no communications since Putin launched his war against Ukraine on February 24.
However, Antonov insisted that he still has a direct line of contact with the Kremlin.
“I have had enough conversations with senior officials in the Kremlin, in various agencies,” Antonov told Politico, adding, “We have a different system.”
When asked by Politico whether he has had a phone conversation with Putin since becoming ambassador, Antonov responded, “To give an opportunity to FBI to listen to everything what Mr. Putin could say [to] me?”