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    Press briefing by Russian 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 results of the Russian presidency in BRICS.

    The majority of the initiatives suggested by Russia have been considered and already implemented, said Maria Zakharova. The format has proved to be very capable. During the Russian presidency trade, economic and investment cooperation within the group has considerably improved.

    BRICS is not just about the economy, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman acknowledged, it is also about global politics, combatting global threats and challenges.

    Now India has assumed the presidency of the organization, taking over from Russia.

    On the Syrian Crisis

    Maria Zakharova said that there are two groups working on the settlement of the Syrian crisis based on the document adopted at the meeting in Munich. One group is working on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The Foreign Ministry will provide regular assessments of the work of the two groups.

    On the Terrorist Attacks in Ankara

    Maria Zakharova said that the Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed condolences to the Turkish government following two attacks in Turkey.

    She called all the misinformation generated by Turkey about alleged Russian air strikes hitting the civilian population a lie. And called the recent announcement of Prime Minister Davutoglu that "Russia secretly supports Daesh," completely unacceptable.

    "Statements by Turkish officials that Russia secretly supports IS are completely unacceptable. Mr. Davutoglu, are you actually making such jokes? If this is a joke, then everyone, especially Turkey, should pay less attention to irony and more to specific actions to combat terrorism," Zakharova told reporters.

    Turkey is pursuing its own interests in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said, which are far removed from the settlement of the crisis.

    Maria Zakharova also said that there is no direct or indirect evidence that Russia has participated in the attacks on Syrian hospitals.

    It resembles a very well-orchestrated campaign of misinformation.

    Maria Zakharova also called Turkey's insinuations that Russia using 'migration lever' to apply pressure on Ankara cynical.

    On Ankara's Interfering in Cyprus Settlement

    Ankara is grossly interfering in the Cyprus settlement issue by trying to insist on its own interests, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

    “We’ve noticed recent publications in Turkish-Cypriot mass media, where the subject was on contacts of the delegation’s representatives from the [parliament] of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with the Turkish leadership, and with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in particular. According to the information in these materials, the Turkish leader is openly inciting Turkish Cypriots on a hard and uncompromised line during the continuing negotiations in Cyprus, including on the touchy issue of territorial differentiation,” Zakharova said at her weekly briefing.

    She said that by Ankara’s stimulating one side within the Cyprus dialogue, the Turkish leadership is “grossly interfering in the negotiations process and putting its own interests forward.”

    On the Humanitarian Situation in Syria

    Referring to the reports on the civilian casualties resulting from Russian air strikes in Syria, Maria Zakharova cited the statistics of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq resulted from the US-led operations there, noting that it remains a profitable, lucrative business blaming Russia for the civilian deaths.

    On Serbia's Ratification of an Agreement With NATO 

    The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman also commented on the recent ratification by the Serbian parliament of an agreement with NATO, which gives the Alliance freedom of movement in the Serbian territory and grants its members diplomatic immunity.

    On BBC Film About Corruption in Russia

    Maria Zakharova commented on the recent BBC film about corruption in Russia, noting the double standards of the UK. Great Britain accuses Russia of corruption, while at the same time it grants asylum to those who are wanted in Russia on corruption charges. The UK also does not object to using these people for their own purposes.

    She suggested it would be interesting material for a new investigative documentary by the BBC.

    On Russian Citizens' Extradition by Third Countries to US 

    Maria Zakharova called it extradition of Russian citizens to the US by third countries unacceptable.

    She referred to the recent decision of Norway to extradite to the US Russian citizen Mark Vartanyan who has been under arrest since 2014 under the request of the US, accused of computer crimes.

    Zakharova said that with such a decision Norway has ignored the international law.

    On Syria No-fly Zone Initiative

    Answering the question on the recent call by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the controversial idea of imposing a no-fly zone over northern Syria to alleviate the refugee crisis, Maria Zakharova said that nobody wants a repeat of Libya scenario as the possible outcome could seriously deteriorate the situation in the region and in the whole world.

    "I think nobody wants the repetition of the Libyan scenario…The international community already has a precedent…The results are being felt far beyond the Libyan borders, in Europe, and soon will be felt even beyond the European borders," she said.

    On a new Meeting of Normandy Four Group on Ukraine

    Answering a question on a possible meeting of the Normandy Four Group,  Maria Zakharova said that there is no date set for the next meeting on Ukraine, but the possibility of such a meeting has been discussed.

    On a Possible Invasion in Syria

    The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said that any invasion in Syria will sabotage the peace process and will be considered as violation of law. Russia's actions will depend on the situation.

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