Non-issuance of visas for delegation from Russia to take part in the UN General Assembly, your detention — this already looks like a tendency. Do you think this is a new direction of the development of Russian-American relations?
- Unfortunately, these events reflect the real picture of our current bilateral relations. This cannot be called a new direction, because our relations with the United States have long been developing like roller coaster: at first they are experiencing a rise, because there is hope for constructive cooperation, and then we understand that no qualitative changes will happen, and then our interaction starts to fall down. Now it has reached its lowest level, and we will need to make a lot of efforts to return to a constructive dialogue and restore lost trust.
What do you think the American side is trying to achieve?
- We should see the difference between the American people, as on the one hand, there are a lot of people interested in normalizing relations with Russia among them, on the other hand, there are certain political forces that solve their narrow tasks, use internal contradictions in the US system, and use anti-Russian propaganda for their own purposes. We should build cooperation with the first group, and should fight back the second and not succumb to their provocations.
Will you continue your work on building relations between the Russian Federation and the USA after this? Does that make sense?
- Despite the various challenges that Russian parliamentarians and diplomats have faced when working with the USA, we remain committed to our previous position. We sincerely respect the US people and those representatives who care about national interests, who are bearing in mind the need for dialogue with other countries, including Russia. Attempts to foster confrontation, to destabilize, to rock the situation are needed mainly by a narrow group of opportunists, who, as I said, either try to solve their personal and career tasks, or blindly believe in the myths they have created about the Russian threat. We should not lover to their level and deviate from the chosen course. There is strong conviction in the Russian parliament that stable and positive cooperation is in the interests of our citizens, who have gone through tough experience in the past and once again found themselves on the path of confrontation. No single episodes or small insults should change our position.
What did they ask you about?
- I was asked questions about my biography and about my professional activity. I answered and used information contained in public sources: Wikipedia, the media and my social networks.
Were you afraid? What was the worst thing during the interrogation?
- Before I became a member of the State Duma, I had been working for 12 years as live journalist, and this experience helped me to cope with my emotions and calmly answer questions.
Have you called Viacheslav Volodin, Sergey Lavrov? What did they tell you about that?
- I had a personal conversation with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly I. Antonov, told him about what had happened and asked for advice on further actions. Mr.Antonov said that a protest note would be sent to the US State Department.