MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Moscow regrets the U.S. decision to withdraw from a working group of the bilateral presidential commission, a Kremlin spokesman said Friday.
"We regret whenever a bilateral format is cancelled without an appropriate substitute," the Interfax news agency quoted spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
Peskov added that there had been a lull in the work of the group for some time. "Perhaps, some reformation will be needed," he said.
Thomas Melia, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, told Interfax that the U.S. had decided to withdraw from the working group as a response to Moscow's recent moves to restrict freedom in Russia.
Russia repeatedly offered that the U.S. conduct a meeting of the working group in 2012, Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry's envoy for human rights, democracy and supremacy of law, told reporters.
"We haven't received the U.S. side's consent to come to Moscow for an official meeting of the group. Our proposals remain in force. We are ready to keep assisting Russian civil society which wants to continue communications with the U.S. colleagues," the diplomat said.
The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission was first announced in July 2009 by the U.S. President Barack Obama and then-President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev to improve inter-governments communications and cooperation.
Two Commission's meetings, in Moscow and Washington, have been held.