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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zakharova Holds Weekly Press Briefing

© Sputnik / Eugene Odinokov / Go to the mediabankPress briefing by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova
Press briefing by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova - Sputnik International
The downturn in relations between Russia and the United States is the result of a deliberate choice made by US authorities, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a weekly press briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

Sergei Lavrov will meet Moldova's Foreign Minister on April 4.

On April 5, Moscow will host negotiations between foreign minister of Russia and Austria. They will discuss joint fight against terrorism.

"An exchange of opinions on the most important international issues will be held, including the fight against terrorism, settling the crisis in Syria, the situation in the Middle East, the likelihood of solving the intra-Ukrainian conflict, as well as mutual activities in the [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] taking into consideration Austria’s future chairing of the organization in 2017," Zakharova said during her weekly briefing.

On situation in Syria

The ceasefire imposed in Syria months ago is implemented. It helped improve the situation in the region and provide humanitarian aid to the residents, Zakharova said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's interview with Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev - Sputnik International
Assad to Sputnik: Why Didn't West Help Syria Liberate Palmyra From Daesh?
Palmyra was finally liberated with Russian assistance. All mass media presented the pictures of barbarious actions of terrorists in Palmyra. Russia will provide help in restoring of Palmyra's cultural treasures.

"What we saw in Palmyra, the fact it was mined, the city was bombed and mined by professionals. Regarding all these facts we can say they were not going to stay in Syria," Zakharova said.

The world reaction on the liberation of Palmyra was weird, the foreign minister spokeswoma said.

"That was a victory. But the reaction was a little bit late. That might seen that noone believe in liberation of Palmyra," Zakharova told journalists.

"In fact the liberation of Palmyra was a game changer in fight against Daesh," she added.

She said the "constrained reaction of several influential members of the international community" of returning Palmyra under Damascus's authority was "surprising."

"There's a feeling that the liberation of Palmyra caught everyone off guard," she added.

We see a huge geopolitical play in this situation, when Western media are ignoring the liberation of Palmyra.

On Syrian peace talks

"The talks will continue in Geneva in the end of April. We have favorable conditions for negotiations on Syrian crisis," Zakharova said.

On UN Human Rights Council

Russian delegation underlined the nessecity of the investigation of violations of human rights in number of European countries. In particular, we pointed out the persecution of dissent in Latvia. We believe the human roght filed should be free of politicizing, Zakharova pointed out.

Russia proposed to include Palmyra's restoration to UNESCO's list as a top priority.

On Poland's plan to destroy Soviet monuments

Monument in Soviet soldiers cementry in Warsaw, Poland. - Sputnik International
Monumental Revision: Poland May Destroy 500 Statues of Soviet Soldiers
The Polish authorities' plans to demolish about 500 monuments to Soviet Army soldiers are nothing but a manifestation of blatant cynicism, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the plans to remove a large number of the Soviet-era monuments in Poland were announced by the head of the country's Institute of National Remembrance.

"Such intentions indicate that Warsaw refuses to accept our repeated calls to show prudence. All of this is, of course, naked cynicism," Zakharova said during a press briefing.

Relations between Moscow and Warsaw have been strained by repeated cases of the demolition and dismantling of Soviet monuments in the country as well as alleged attempts by some Polish officials to distort history and belittle the contribution Soviet soldiers made to the victory over Nazism in World War II.

On lawyer's killing in Ukraine

Russia doesn't talk about who's bad, who's good. Lawyer Grabosky's murder should be investigated.

Lawlessness in Ukraine has started to take on a statewide scale, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"Stay objective until the end and do not hesitate, don't be afraid of giving an adequate and objective assessment of what is happening to Ukrainian lawyers, Russian citizens on the territory of Ukraine. We cannot accept this lawlessness that is already beginning to take on a statewide scale in Ukraine," Zakharova told reporters.

On situation in Donbass

President Poroshenko said about readiness to conduct fair elections in the region. Unfortunately, Kiev's enthusiasm isn't moving beyond the words.

On relations with Turkey

We do not consider Turkish poeple as an enemy, we develope relations with country in different areas. This crisis will not last long. But there is nothing that can justify Turkey's recent actions and statements, and Russia will take no steps to improve relations with the current Turkish leadership, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"Our two countries have an extensive and very rich history, and, of course, people deserve to see bilateral relations move out of this crisis and develop, but there can be no acceptance or justification for what was done and what continues to be said," Zakharova told reporters.

On Hammond's statement

Russian Embassy in London - Sputnik International
Hammond’s Claims About Alleged Threat Posed by Russia ‘Unacceptable’
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s remarks describing Russia as a global challenge and threat are part of an aggressive anti-Russian propaganda campaign, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Hammond said that Russia "represents a challenge and a threat to all'" by allegedly ignoring the norms of international conduct and breaking the rules of the international system.

"For some people, such a generalization made by the British foreign policy chief could sound surprising, but we realize very well that it is simply a part of anti-Russian informational campaign," ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.

Russian-US relations

Restoring full format relations with the United States remains a priority for Russia, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"[Relations] are not at their best at the moment. That is a fact," Zakharova told reporters, answering a question on the current state of Moscow-Washington relations.

"A reassessment of approaches is underway. I believe it will be of a global and systemic nature. At the same time, our priority remains to restore full format relations that would be aimed at implementing the interests of both the countries' residents, in all areas," she added.

However, the downturn in relations between Russia and the United States is the result of a deliberate choice made by US authorities, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"The cooling of bilateral relations — not even cooling, but their deterioration to the current level — was not a Russian choice. It was a deliberate choice, as we understand, made by the current US leadership," Zakharova told reporters.

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