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    Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zakharova Holds Weekly Press Briefing

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    Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is holding a weekly press briefing in Moscow.

    On the Meeting of the Syria Support Group in Munich.

    Maria Zakharova has revealed plans to hold an upcoming meeting on Syria. Stressing the need to include the Syrian Kurds — Syrian Democratic Unity Party (PYD) — in the negotiation process. She stressed that the negotiations could lead to no results withthout the participation of the Syrian Kurds who know very well the situation on the ground.

    FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, file photo, Syrian Kurdish militia members of YPG make a V-sign next to poster of Abdullah Ocalan, jailed Kurdish rebel leader, and a Turkish army tank in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria
    © AFP 2018 / Mursel Coban, Depo Photos, File
    The meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) is scheduled for February 11, in Munich.

    However Maria Zakharova doubted that Russia's Western partners have any strategy for Syria at all, judging by their actions on the ground. their actions resemble some chaotic movement without any clear aim in focus.

    On the Claims that Russian Airstrikes in Syria Lead to Civilian Deaths

    Russia's Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman also commented on the recent statements of US Secretary of State John Kerry on the alleged deaths of civilians in Syria resulting from Russian airstrikes, calling such statements baseless and unacceptable.

    She also noted that it looks like a well-orchestrated campaign; as such statements are immediately picked up and circulated by the US media. This in turn, leads to a kind of hysteria.

    Such statements are irresponsible, as the US Secretary of State is a very well-informed person and knowns what is happening on the ground. In addition, Russia is always open about presenting data on its airstrikes.

    On the Claims that Russian Airstrikes Derailed Negotiations in Geneva

    Maria Zakharova has also commented on the recent claims that the activity of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria has derailed negotiations in Geneva. She called it an absolute lie and low-level misinformation.

    On the Humanitarian Cirsis in Syria

    On the claims that the current humanitarian crisis in Syria is due to the Russian airstrike's: Maria Zakharova recalled the history of the whole Syrian crisis, asking where all the accusers were four years ago, when it was only starting to emerge.

    On the Flow of Refugees from Syria

    Allegations that Russian Aerospace Forces’ airstrikes are antagonizing the flow of refugees have no foundation, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

    She stressed that the people are trying to flee from Daesh terrorists and not from the Russian airstrikes.

    Alleged Use of Unguided Bombs in Syria

    On the alleged use of unguided bombs by Russia in Syria which led to the deaths of civilians: Maria Zakharova stressed that again, not a single piece of evidence has ever been provided. The claims are ungrounded, unfounded and are some kind of tactic targeted against Russia.  

    She also acknowledged that these claims are being voiced by the people who used these very same methods in Serbia.

    On Turkey's Claims that Moscow Refuses to Negotiate With Ankara

    On Turkey's recent claims that Moscow refuses to negotiate with Ankara, Zakharova said that Turkey simply wants to shift all the responsibility on Russia and tries to avoid taking responsibility for downing the Russian jet in Syria.

    Turkey is attempting to protect its “dirty business” with terrorists by voicing its concern over activities by the Syrian Army near its borders, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

    “It’s completely clear why the success of the Syrian Army is causing such indignation to the Turkish side. The ‘dirty business’ by the Turkish semi-official organs obviously needs protection. And this is basically how they protect it, plus [government-]controlled mass media are also trying as best they can,” Zakharova said.

    However, Zakharova said the Russian Foreign Ministry is considering a request from members of parliament to terminate the 1921 Russia-Turkey friendship treaty.

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry did receive a request from a number of State Duma members to terminate said agreement," ministry spokeswoman confirmed at a press conference.

    "I can say at this point that the request and its contents need to be assessed. Everything will be done in due course," she added.

    On the Settlement of Ukrainian Crisis

    Russia's Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman also commented on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, stressing that Russia will continue doing its utmost to secure a political solution to the crisis.

    Referring to the so-called Kiev's "anti-terrorist operation" in the southeast of Ukraine, Zakharova noted that there are no terrorists there, no one in the world called the people fighting for their own freedoms the "terrorists."

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stressed that it is "not normal" for a government to fight against its own people.

    On the Easing of the Visa Regime With Iran

    On the easing of the visa regime between Russia and Iran, Maria Zakharova commented on the categories of applicants who the relaxed restrictions will apply to.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also commented on Russia's bid for Arctic Shelf border expansion.

    On the Freedom of Speech in Europe

    On the freedom of speech and propaganda in Europe: Maria Zakharova has called the situation surrounding a Berlin-based correspondent for Russian state television a type of political pressure. It is not just "double standards," it is already "naked hypocrisy."

    Russian correspondent Ivan Blagoy found himself accused of incitement after reporting about migrants allegedly gang raping a 13-year-old girl.

    On Increased NATO Presence at Russia's Borders

    Increased NATO military presence near Russia's borders threatens European stability and security, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

    "We do not understand the cause of such actions. We believe that they first of all pose a threat not to Russia, but to the strategic stability and security that should dominate on European territory. This security and stability must be common," Zakharova told reporters.

    On the Unipolar World Model

    Answering a question about the unipolar world model, Maria Zakharova said that there is no country in the world which can undertake the responsibility of carrying out the concept of a unipolar world model.

    On the Detention of Russian Citizens Abroad

    Maria Zakharova has also commented on the cases of the detention of Russian citizens on the territory of the third countries and their further  extradiction to the US. She made assurances that the situation is being closely monitored by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Each particular case is closely considered by the Ministry.

    On Russia-Icelandic Relations

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman commented that the pressure of the EU on non-member states to impose sanctions against Russia undermined the national security of Iceland and regretted that Russia had to impose the responsive measures but stressed once again that Russia's measures were purely responsive. 

    Maria Zakharova also commented on Russia's migration policy.


    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zakharova Holds Weekly Press Briefing
    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zakharova Holds Weekly Press Briefing
    Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zakharova Holds Weekly Press Briefing
    press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, Moscow, Russia
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