Russia Calls for Cold War-esque relations With the U.S.

A top Russian Foreign Ministry official has used the Cold War as a reference point for ideal relations between Moscow and Washington, DC.

Alexander Darchiyev, director of the North America department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, suggested that the era beset by hair-trigger tensions over the threat of nuclear war was what Moscow and Washington, D.C. should aspire to as the war Moscow started in Ukraine rages on.

"We are open to honest and mutually respectful dialogue to the extent that the United States is ready for this," he told Interfax.

"Perhaps it would be worth recalling the well-forgotten principle that worked during the Cold War —peaceful coexistence," he said, and the "values ​​and ideals that divide us...should not be imposed on each other."

He said that understanding this in terms of Russia and the United States' "special responsibility for the fate of the world as nuclear superpowers", Moscow hoped "normalcy in relations between our countries will come back."

Despite saying a "deliberate deterioration" of relations between countries "is not our tactic and not our style," Darchiyev took swipes at the U.S. and repeated the Kremlin's justification for the war which had been stumbling blocks for diplomats before Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion.

He referred to the U.S.'s "hostile actions and arrogant disdain" for Russian demands for legally binding security guarantees, the non-deployment of strike weapons near its borders and the return of NATO's military capabilities to what they were before 1997.

"It is clear that Ukraine, which its bankrupt rulers plunged into disaster, is only a tool for the United States in a geopolitical confrontation with Russia," he said.

"Washington will need time to get used to the fact that its hegemony is in the past, and will have to reckon with the national interests of Russia, which has its own sphere of influence and responsibility," he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a blunt response to the comments by Darchiyev, saying: "Peaceful coexistence has two words. The first is 'peaceful.'"

"Russia's doing everything in its power to make a mockery of that word through its aggression on Ukraine," he said at a press conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

He said that Putin "is making Russia a pariah, destroying in the space of a week 30 years of international openness and opportunity."

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden was set to announce on Tuesday that the U.S. would ban Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports as part of his administration's punishment of Moscow for the invasion.

A Ukrainian tank
A Ukrainian tank rolls along a main road on March 8, 2022. As Russia faces condemnation over its invasion of Ukraine Alexander Darchiyev, from Russia's foreign affairs ministry, referred to the Cold War era of "peaceful coexistence" between Moscow and Washington, DC. Aris Messinis/Getty