On Tuesday evening, a senior employee of the state Department read to students of the University of Latvia lecture about the relations between Russia and the United States. The event was closed to reporters. But the portal Delfi received an opportunity to ask Ms. Kawalek a few questions.
— How do you assess the current model of relations between the US and Russia? This "cold war"? This is a crisis?
- I would not say that this is a crisis. Relations between the US and Russia is now difficult. There were difficult moments in the past. Of course, we got a clear opposition after the Russian occupation of the Crimea. We do not recognize Russia's aggression in Ukraine. But we declare that if all conditions of the Minsk agreement will be fulfilled, we are ready to lift the sanctions. We also demonstrated a willingness to cooperate on the issue of Iran and Syria. So I can't call it a crisis. It's just a complicated relationship.
- Specifically what Washington expects from Moscow?
- Washington hopes that Russia is interested in normalization of situation in Ukraine. We hope that Russia will demonstrate progress in addressing the problem of the separatists.
- And in response ready to offer the White house? Looks like a deal?
- If all conditions of the Minsk agreement will be fulfilled, we are ready to lift sanctions.
- Russia's participation in the Syrian operation will help her to come out of international isolation?
- We are pleased to see the interest of Russia in the fight against Islamic State. We work in Syria. This is a positive step. But the isolation of Russia connected with the situation in Ukraine. And promotion of this issue depends on compliance with the Minsk agreements.
- In the Baltic States sounds a lot of speculation about the threat posed to the region by Russia. You see it?
- I don't see the specific threats. I see anxiety in the Baltic countries in the context of the situation with Ukraine. But it's not just the Baltics but all of Europe. It is worth remembering that the occupation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine violated the rules that were established after the Second World war. This causes anxiety in many countries.
- You agree that the presence in the Baltic States a high percentage of Russian-speaking population is an added security risk?
- I don't agree with this statement. From the position of the United States, we believe in a multi-ethnic country. The unity of different nationalities making the country stronger. We believe that all minority groups should have equal rights.