WASHINGTON, November 15 (Sputnik) – The United States sees Russia's participation in resolving international global problems as critical, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Paul Jones has said.
"The fact is they [Russia] do play a role in certain issues that are important not only for our two countries [the United States and Russia], but for a lot of other countries including our many partners and allies," Jones said Friday.
The US State Department representative emphasized that while Russia's participation on the international arena is crucial, "that does not mean that we [the United States] do not pay attention to the clamp down on media, civil society and political opposition in Russia".
Relations between Russia and the West have been strained in light of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. During the past few months, the European Union, the United States and their allies have hit Russia with sanctions over Moscow's alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict. The measures target Russia's largest banks, energy and defense companies, as well as some high profile individuals.
Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in Ukraine's internal affairs and stated that the sanctions imposed against it are counterproductive and threaten global economic stability.