The official representative of the Department of State announced progress in negotiations with Russia on the issuance of diplomatic visas.

The U.S. Department of State and the Russian Foreign Ministry have not been able to make progress in negotiations on the mutual issuance of diplomatic visas, Department of State spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.

Responding to a journalist’s request to comment on yesterday’s statement by the Consul General of the Russian Federation in Houston about “cautious positive progress” in visa negotiations conducted by special representatives of the Department of State and the Russian Foreign Ministry, Price confirmed that “in recent days” progress has indeed been made in the negotiations. According to the representative of the Department of State, discussions are still underway and the next round of negotiations on the resumption of the issuance of entry visas for employees of diplomatic missions in both countries will soon take place.

“We need communication channels. We want and need the opportunity to have an open, frank, and straightforward dialogue with the Russian Federation. That’s why, President [Biden] took part in a videoconference with President Putin,” Price stressed, “But it is obvious that not all issues, whether staffing embassies, Russian aggression, cybersecurity issues, strategic stability, can be resolved at the presidential level, and that’s why we have embassies.”

Ned Price stressed that in order to solve the problems that have accumulated in relations between the United States and Russia, the Department of State needs to have a “fully functioning embassy” in Moscow. At the same time, as Price noted, the United States “understands Russia’s desire to have a fully functioning embassy here in Washington,” and the Department of State, according to him, pays priority attention to this issue.

“We appreciate open lines of communication and dialogue, but there must be reciprocity. And I think the Russians have shown in recent months that they are unwilling – at least so far – to allow us to have a fully functioning embassy in Moscow,” Price added.

The representative of the Department of State expressed hope for strengthening diplomatic channels and strengthening communications between Washington and Moscow, since “a lot of national interests are at stake.”