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Russia ambassador calls for resumed military contacts with US

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Russia ambassador calls for resumed military contacts with US

The new Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, is calling for renew military contacts between Moscow and Washington. 

“The time has come to resume joint meetings of Russia’s and the United States’ foreign and defense ministers in a ’two plus two’ format,” Antonov said in an interview with the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant on Wednesday. 

The Kremlin’s new envoy to Washington also said “working cooperation” between the two countries could help fight cyber threats and terrorism and increase strategic stability. 

Military contacts between the U.S. and Russia were frozen as a result of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Antonov was Russia’s defense minister when Russia annexed Crimea. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier this month Antonov would replace Sergey Kislyak as his ambassador to the U.S.

Antonov’s call for renewed military contacts between the two nations comes as the Trump administration looks to repair relations with Moscow. 

President Trump sparked controversy earlier this month when he thanked Putin for ordering the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff by 755 people. 

The comments came after the president reluctantly signed into law new sanctions on Moscow for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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