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Maria Zakharova on the Sources of US Foreign Policy Hysteria (Video)

Read how the FM spokeswoman explains why she doesn’t comment on US politics and how American diplomacy turned into show biz in an exclusive interview with Russia’s most popular daily newspaper

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Baranov: We would like to ask you some questions on the latest political events: what is behind them, how they are covered and interpreted, starting with Syria. On Sunday the United Nations Security Council held a meeting initiated by the US, Great Britain and France. I was shocked not only by the fact that they again accused us of things we didn’t do, but in an incredibly rude tone that they never used before. For example, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power, even called Moscow’s actions inhuman! What do you think this hysterics is about? Why has it come precisely now?    

Zakharova: You are absolutely right to say this is hysterics, but before we talk about Syria, we need to understand what’s going on in the US. The first thing is that the old administration is leaving. The US president’s two terms are behind him. He came to power in an extraordinary way, and the first thing that happened was that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — a gage by the world community to behave in a certain way as the president of the country that considers itself the leader of the world. But there are only a few months left for him to do so.

“The first thing he needs to do is try to make a difference in international relations, since the world community gave him this credit, but he has nothing to offer in return. So the hysterics are about him needing to leave something behind. I think that’s why we see all these calls and meetings of the Department of State …

“The second thing is the election campaign. I will not comment on that, although sometimes I’m tempted to, because it is our foreign policy not to interfere in other countries’ election processes. As idealistic and even corny as it may sound, it’s because we respect the people. And we proceed from the fact that this is their choice – it’s neither the choice of the Russian Federation, nor of Russia’s leaders, it’s the choice of the American people. And this nation, which does not have a long history but has been very successful, has a right to its own independent choice.

“Without getting into the specifics of the election, we can lament the fact that the prospects are poor. Russia is always mentioned in debates and statements, with foreign policy a major area of contention, in particular in relation to the Syrian crisis.  

“Unfortunately, the most powerful state uses international relations and international venues to solve its domestic issues and political ambitions. We need to face the fact that we are prisoners of this reality.The US needs this show to distract attention from their refusal to fulfill their commitments. They would need to explain the world why the Syrian settlement did not go any further, why efforts made for over a year came to nothing. Representatives of various countries repeat like a set phrase: ‘Russia’. How do they explain that it is Russia that needs to prove the seriousness of its intentions. We’ve already done that by sending our soldiers there.

Who do they think they are to demand proof of anything? It’s they who must do that, having ruined Iraq, Libya, and much of the Middle East, violating every imaginable international law. It is up to them to prove the good faith of their intentions towards Syria, by treating this country as a state, not as a colony or a black hole.”

Baranov: Let’s move to Ukraine. The US again puts all the blame on us, using the same scenario. I have a specific question: today the Dutch released the report on Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine, where they groundlessly claim Russia’s guilt. I was shocked when they said they had not yet studied the data provided by Russia, but they consider it invalid.

Zakharova: Of course, that’s disappointing, to put it mildly. We consider it to be prejudiced and politically driven. It’s also important that the evidence available to the Dutch prosecutor includes the materials provided by the Russian government.

Djuma: And they ignore it.

Zakharova: Right, and they also ignore evidence provided through diplomatic channels, as stated in public. We hope that all the data available to the Dutch will be considered, and that the victims’ relatives will not allow the material provided by the Russian side to be ignored. Because we provided exactly what they asked us to provide.  It’s terrible to imagine they pain they have been through all these years.

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