Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the state of US-Russia relations is now even worse than during the Cold War. His Wednesday comments during a televised interview might be easily dismissed as hyperbole, given there’s not something that’s quite equivalent to the Cuban missile crisis happening right now, but it does accurately convey things in terms of lack of simple communications at a diplomatic level. He said it was the “lack of respect” in the current climate that makes things worse.

Lavrov explained Moscow has a desire to normalize ties with Washington but that should the Biden administration refuse respectful dialogue, “we would live in conditions of a ‘Cold War’ or worse.”

“During the Cold War, the tensions were flying high and risky crisis situations often emerged, but there was also a mutual respect,” he said as cited in The Associated Press“It seems to me there is a deficit of it now.”

Whether or not this dangerous trajectory in lack of “respect” and communications will continue is likely to be determined on whether the proposed Biden-Putin summit actually takes place this summer. In the past days there’s been multiple reports from both sides signaling the meeting is in preparation for a European country for mid-June.

The latest on Russia’s view on summit progress comes via the AP as follows:

Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov noted that Moscow has had a “positive” attitude to U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but added that Russia still needs to analyze all aspects of the initiative.

Indeed US-Russia relations have reached a low point arguably even when compared to the height of the Ukraine and Crimea crisis of 2014 and 2015…

Amid a flurry of claims that Russia was building up troops in preparation for some kind of Ukraine action or offensive last month into this month (claims that Kiev officials have been pushing hard), the White House slapped sanctions on Moscow for the SolarWinds hack and ‘interference’-related charges, while also expelling ten Russian diplomats.

The Kremlin responded in kind with the expelling of American officials, including a blacklist of top government and intelligence officials who are banned from travel to Russia.