US and NATO Security Services Summon Russians Who Interacted With Diplomats Abroad - Moscow
12:28 GMT 06.03.2022 (Updated: 13:16 GMT 06.03.2022)
© AP Photo / Alexander ZemlianichenkoRussian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova gestures as she attends Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry's work in 2019, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.
© AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was speaking as Russia continues its special operation aimed at demilitarising and de-Nazifying Ukraine.
US and NATO security services had summoned for “conversations” some Russians who interacted with diplomats abroad, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
In some NATO countries, such as the United States, Poland, the Baltic countries, representatives of special services would also approach at airports people who had been regularly interacting with our diplomats in line with absolutely normal, open principles, attempting to determine their list of contacts, said Zakharova.
Furthermore, over the past few months, Russian embassies abroad have been living as though in a blockade, constantly targeted by hacker attacks, said Zakharova.
"The fact is, this 'blockade' is not provisional or virtual, it is a most real and tangible one," she said, appearing live on Russian television.
According to Maria Zakharova, Russians are currently being openly persecuted in many countries of the world.
"What is now being done not even against diplomats, but simply citizens of our country, ethnic Russians, is a fast-spreading persecution across many countries of the world that is even devoid of any political overtones,” she added.
Ceaseless spreading of false stories, replication of fakes or outright propaganda have been bringing out the worst in some people, warned the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
She underscored that through manipulation of information via the media, social networks, messenger and mailing lists, Western countries continue to push their own population to the brink of nationalist ‘insanity.’
Moscow has demanded that countries where its embassies are accredited comply with obligations under the conventions on diplomatic and consular relations, Zakharova said.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on 24 aimed at demilitarising the country after weeks of escalating Ukrainian artillery, sniper and sabotage attacks targeting the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Moscow had earlier recognised the Donbass republics as independent states on 21 February after the breakdown of the Minsk peace process.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin explained that a key goal of the ongoing operation is to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine and thus eliminate a threat to Russia's national security.
The Russian Ministry of Defence also underscored that the Armed Forces were targeting exclusively military infrastructure, and nothing threatens the civilian population. However, in response to Mosocw's operation, Western countries have rolled out a sweeping sanctions campaign, which includes airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting Russian officials, media, and financial institutions.