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Russian Embassy Proposes Twitter as Communication Channel With U.S. State Department

Yuri Gripas / Reuters

The Russian embassy in Washington has proposed using Twitter as a channel for diplomatic correspondence with the State Department after a breakdown in communication this week.

The initiative follows Russia’s unsuccessful attempts to set up a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Ethiopia this week. The U.S. government repeatedly denied receiving a formal request for the meeting, while Russian diplomats insisted that a request had been sent.

The Russian embassy’s press secretary, Nick Lakhonin, issued the proposal in a tweet on Friday directed at State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

The Russian diplomat called Twitter a “more reliable & quicker communication channel” and said his embassy was willing to send diplomatic correspondence through direct messages on the social network, provided the State Department followed the embassy’s account.

"Let our ministers meet!" he added.

At a State Department briefing on Tuesday, Heather Nauert denied that Russia had requested a meeting between Lavrov and Tillerson, prompting Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to accuse Nauert of “distorting reality.”

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed on Friday that the two top diplomats would not be meeting in Ethiopia this week, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

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