A Russian Embassy official's comment in reply to a White House official's warning in The Guardian
Somebody in Washington was frightened to see the statistics of ticket sales for the FIFA World Cup 2018 to take place in Russia. According to FIFA, at the beginning of April 16,462 tickets were purchased by American sports fans. They will constitute the biggest foreign fan group.
This cannot but make us happy. Despite the active anti-Russia campaign in the leading American media, and maybe because of it, the interest for our country is growing. Americans wish to see with their own eyes what it really happening in Russia.
Verbally the U.S. authorities are strongly supporting ‘direct dialogue between U.S. and Russian citizens’, in reality it’s just the way around. The State Department has officially advised Americans to ‘reconsider’ the idea of traveling to Russia. Some Russia’s athletic teams are not granted visas to the U.S. to participate in competitions.
And now – anonymous warnings are issued for American and British sports fans. There are hints to implicit threats.
We consider this to be not excessive concern over the safety of the countries’ nationals, but concern that a great number of Americans and the English will enjoy Russia, our cities and the Russian people. There sure is a threat. This threat is that a significant part of the population in the West will stop believing the everyday anti-Russia propaganda.
Welcome to Russia, Americans!