Russia, US lift targeted sanctions so Nuland can visit Moscow
Russia and the United States have lifted targeted sanctions to allow U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland to visit Moscow this week for meetings with Russian officials.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, said Nuland was on the sanctions list that prohibits individuals from entering the country but has since been removed after the U.S. nixed a similar restriction that was barring a Russian citizen from entering the country, Reuters reported on Sunday.
“She was actually on our sanctions lists that mean that a person cannot cross the border,” Zakharova said, according to the RIA news agency, cited by Reuters.
“They [the U.S.] included Russian representatives and foreign policy experts on their sanctions lists. So in this case, the question was resolved on a parity basis. Yes, she will be in Russia,” she added.
Zakharova later told the Govorit Moskva radio station that a Russian citizen was taken off the U.S. sanctions list but did not reveal who that person was, according to Reuters.
Nuland, the No. 3 official at the State Department, is scheduled to travel on Oct. 11 to Moscow, where she will meet with senior Russian officials and interlocutors to “discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues,” according to the State Department.
The under secretary’s trip to Moscow comes amid a tense moment in the U.S.-Russian relationship.
Since taking office, President Biden has levied a number of sanctions against Russia for the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the SolarWinds hack and efforts to influence the 2020 presidential election.
Biden, however, met one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in June, which he framed as a foreign policy win.
Nuland, after spending time in Russia, will travel to Beirut on Oct. 14 to meet with Lebanese representatives of civil society and government leaders to talk over economic reforms and next year’s elections.
On Oct. 15, she will travel to London for meetings with senior government officials regarding “a range of global issues.”
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