July 3, 2019  |  Updated July 23, 2019

Top Russian Diplomat Falsely Claims U.S. Actions Violated Vienna Convention, Calls White House Policy ‘Schizophrenic’

By Fatima Tlis

Speaking at the Kremlin-sponsored Valdai Club on July 1, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, “Today, the schizophrenia of the White House’s policy towards Russia has become more obvious than ever.”

To “bring bilateral relations out of a dead-end,” Ryabkov proposed “small steps,” including the “release or exchange” of Konstantin Yaroshenko, the Russian pilot serving a 20-year sentence in the U.S. for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine. The Russian diplomat did not elaborate on the details of the proposed “exchange” or name the U.S. citizens held in Russia who Moscow may be willing to swap.

Ryabkov also called on the U.S. to “return” to Russia the “diplomatic property” that Washington “seized not only in violation of the Vienna Convention, but in violation of private right.”

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