10:40 GMT25 February 2020
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    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is holding a weekly press briefing in Sochi.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has expressed sincere condolences to relatives of those involved in the EgyptAir plane crash over the Mediterranean sea.

    On Syria

    Al-Nusra Front terrorists have executed a number of civilians in al-Zara, Hama province. They have shown no mercy to either the elderly or to children. The actions of terrorists in Syria cannot be justified, Maria Zakharova said.

    The Western media has reported about a 'Plan B' for the Syrian crisis. However, during the 5th ministerial meeting in Vienna, the Ministers stated that there cannot be a 'Plan B' in Syria.

    The Syrian government is ready to provide medical assistance to the populations of areas which suffered from terrorist attacks, Zakharova said, adding that the Syrian gov't is involved in reconciliation.

    The Syrian government is ready to provide medical assistance to the populations of areas which suffered due to terrorism, Zakharova said.

    The Syrian government is involved in the Syrian peace process, she added.

    Middle East Settlement

    Tensions between Palestine and Israel remain high, Zakharova told journalists. However, extremist provocations are unacceptable.

    The settlement of this crisis is a key to the prosperity of the region, Zakharova said.

    Taliban in Afghanistan

    Moscow is ready to take a flexible approach to possible easing of sanctions against Taliban if this move does not violate the interests of Afghan people, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    "The Russian side is ready to facilitate the negotiations [between conflicting parties in Afghanistan], including taking a flexible approach to possible easing of sanctions regime against Taliban, if it does not harm Afghanistan's national interests," ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a weekly briefing.

    Situation on the Korean Peninsula

    Korea is located close to Russia's border, so Russia is interested in peace and stability in the region, Zakharova said.

    NATO Expansion in Eastern Europe

    We insist on reducing military activity in the region. The deployment of additional US weapons in Eastern Europe is worrying.

    Montenegro becoming part of NATO directly affects Russia and requires an "appropriate reaction" from Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    "This NATO attempt to change the military and political landscape in Europe, particularly amid the alliance's open course on deterring our country, will inevitably affect the interests of the Russian Federation and prompts an appropriate reaction," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

    Human Rights Violation in Turkey

    Russia calls on Turkey to return to peaceful means in the settlement of the situation with Kurds minority, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    "In light with catastrophic consequences of a military operation for civilian population, we reiterate our call on official Ankara to return to peaceful ways of resolving the Kurds issue as soon as possible," ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a weekly briefing.

    We support the UN Supreme Comission's call for Turkish authorities to allow access so that the situation in Diyarbakyr may be monitored.

    Crimean Tatars

    Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People has discredited itself with subversive and extremist activities and cannot represent Crimean Tatars, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    "This structure in its present form has lost trust in Crimea long ago, and it certainly does not represent Crimean Tatars," ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a weekly briefing.

    "Mejlis has discredited itself on various occasions by extremist and subversive actions. Its activities are clearly aimed against the entire population of the peninsula," Zakharova stressed.

    Humanitarian Summit in Turkey

    Russia will take part in the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    "We are a major donor of humanitarian aid and we have no intentions to shy away from the summit. An interagency delegation led by the deputy emergencies minister will travel to Istanbul," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

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