Briefing by Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Current Foreign Policy Issues

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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has held a regular briefing on current foreign policy issues on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square, where the Ministry is headquartered. It should be noted that last Thursday the Order of Friendship was awarded to Maria Zakharova by President Putin at the awards ceremony for state and public figures.

The briefing focused on such issues as the US-Russia relations, the intra-Syrian talks, the Russian media in the West, as well as other burning foreign policy issues.

Speaking about the intra-Syrian talks held in Astana, Zakharova noted that the new draft of the Syrian Constitution proposed by Russia was not designed to impose Russia’s rules on Damascus as the final decision could only be made by the Syrians. However, while commenting on the situation on the ground, she said that “The time has come to put the draft constitution into the hands of the opposing sides instead of assault rifles.”

A lot of questions were asked about the future of US-Russia relations after Donald Trump’s inauguration. As the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stated, “We are waiting for his [Donald Trump’s – Editor’s note] team to be formed. We are also ready to launch a meaningful dialogue”. As Zakharova put it, Washington’s stance on international counterterrorism instilled optimism. However, public statements fail to provide sufficient grounds for valid conclusions. Actually, mechanisms for developing interaction are of greater importance.

Besides, Zakharova responded to the arrest of Alexander Rubinstein, an RT correspondent charged with felony rioting at Trump’s inauguration. The official condemned the case as an egregious one, adding that “the journalist fulfilled his duties and had his press card on him”.

Finally, Maria Zakharova highlighted that Russia and South Africa would soon establish a visa-free regime, which would positively impact on the bilateral relations.

Photo: RIA. Vladimir Astapkovich

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