Russia's newly appointed ambassador to the United States arrived to Washington D.C. on Thursday, just in time for the latest episode in the ongoing U.S.-Russian diplomatic spat.
Anatoly Antonov landed in Washington only to face questions on a U.S. Department of State announcement requiring Russia to close its San Francisco consulate and scale back activities in other annexes.
"Now we need to sort this out calmly, very calmly and act in a professional manner,” Antonov was cited as telling journalists by the state-run TASS news agency. "To cite Lenin, we don't need any hysterical outbursts."
The newly appointed ambassador was referring to a well-known statement made by Lenin: "We don't need hysterical outbursts. We need the measured tread of the iron battalions of the proletariat."
To add to the Soviet references, he continued: "My comrades and I will fulfill our work in a professional manner."
Antonov, who has earned a reputation for being a ‘hardliner,’ appeared to reach out an olive branch to his new home country in an interview published earlier on Thursday.
“I will try to convey to the Americans that we are not enemies but should be partners in the interests of Russia and the U.S.,” he told the Kommersant business daily.