According to AP, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday “The working group was not working.”
The working group was part of the US-Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission established in 2009 by US President Barack Obama and his then-Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to “reset” US-Russian ties.
Nuland said the Russian government's recent restrictions on civil society prompted Washington to take the measure.
In July, Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a bill, forcing non-governmental organizations (NGO) involved in political activity with foreign financing to be classed as "foreign agents."
The new legislation would force the NGOs to publish a report of their activities twice a year and carry out an annual financial audit.
She added “These new restrictions the Russian government is placing on civil society were increasingly calling into question whether maintaining this government-to-government mechanism was useful or appropriate.”
On Friday, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s point man on human rights issues, said that the US State Department had not informed its counterparts in Moscow of the US withdrawal from the working group.
Relations between Russia and the United States have deteriorated over the past months.