Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Syria, Afghanistan and Relations with US
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
At her weekly press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) addressed the situation in Syria, saying:
“With the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian army continues to systematically destroy the remaining hotbeds of international terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra,” adding:
“The completion of the intense military phase of the Syrian crisis creates the urge to step up the political settlement process.”
America’s imperial agenda remains the disturbing obstacle, occupying Syrian territory illegally, refusing to leave, continuing to support anti-government jihadists, wanting conflict continued for regime change, obstructing resolution efforts.
The same holds for NATO, Israel, the Saudis, and other regional rogue states. “(R)adicals (they support) are not interested in achieving peace,” MZ explained.
“(T)hey are trying to obstruct the settlement process in every possible way and to interfere with the work of the international formats, which seek to facilitate the political process.”
Facts on the ground show foreign sources continue supplying anti-government terrorists with heavy weapons, flagrantly violating SC Res. 2254, mandating the “prevent(ion) and suppress(ion) (of) terrorist attacks…and iradicat(ing)” their safe havens.
Washington and its imperial allies aim to create obstacles for convening the Russian-sponsored Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29-30.
False accusations of CW use by Syrian forces continue to be made, no evidence proving them. An OPCW fact finding mission was supposed to inspect Zahirihah in Hama province.
Government forces discovered CWs left behind by jihadists after they were eliminated from the area.
MZ: “(T)he planned visit to the site did not take place. The OPCW special mission experts refused to go to the area at the last minute citing alleged recommendations by the UN Department of Safety and Security.”
“This despite the fact that the territory has long been controlled by government troops, while the Syrian side offered additional guarantees of safe access to the area and was willing to provide the OPCW officials with a helicopter and armed escort.”
The OPCW/UN Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM) falsely accused Damascus of CW use in Kahn Sheikhoun last April, refusing to visit the site, relying on phony evidence from al-Qaeda-connected White Helmets – destroying the credibility of the OPCW/JIM.
Winters are harsh in Afghanistan, the toughest time of year for most Afghans. Yet at this time of year, violence is less extreme, though still a major problem because of America’s endless war and occupation.
MZ noted the attack days earlier on a Kabul Shia cultural center, killing and injuring scores. US-supported ISIS claimed responsibility for the incident.
The Pentagon redeployed thousands of its fighters to the country, more likely coming, a pretext to continue endless war of aggression against long-suffering Afghans.
MZ: “The ISIS Afghanistan ‘branch’ is already in full control of several districts…and persists in attempts to establish a foothold in Afghanistan’s northern areas bordering Central Asian countries.”
They didn’t arrive on their own. They were flown in by Pentagon aircraft.
US officials “further degrad(ed)” bilateral relations by violating the Open Skies Treaty, falsely accusing Russia of violations.
“(I)n line with (Moscow’s) principle of reciprocity,” the Kremlin will respond in kind. US aircraft are banned from overnight stops at three Russian airports.
Effective January 1, “a number of bilateral agreements with the United States that were signed to facilitate flights under the treaty” are terminated, MZ explained.
She slammed Rex Tillerson’s NYT op-ed, days earlier expressing pride in America’s imperial agenda, its killing machine, its endless wars of aggression, its support for ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Tillerson’s agenda as Big Oil corporate predator was bad enough. As Trump administration’s chief diplomat, allied with its rogue agenda, he’s a war criminal.
MZ: His op-ed “looked like an attempt to drive yet another wedge in relations with other countries, above all, Russia and China.”
Repeating the fabricated accusation about Russian US election interference makes him a liar and the Times a “fake news” publication.
MZ is right saying normal relations with Washington are “impossible until it revises its aggressive stance, which includes the return of the stolen Russian diplomatic property in the US,” adding:
“(I)t is time for American politicians and diplomats to realize that military and economic pressure tools are useless against Russia. Washington’s delusive policy discredited itself a long time ago, including on the international stage.”
A disgraceful op-ed by US envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, published in Italy’s La Stampa broadsheet, called on EU nations to maintain (illegal) sanctions on Russia.
His other remarks showed profound ignorance of what’s going on in Ukraine, according to MZ. He ignored US heavy-handed methods to undermine Minsk ceasefire terms, while supporting Kiev aggression on its own people.
MZ: “The US State Department (falsely) accused the Russian Government the other day of putting pressure on potential candidates, due to take part in the 2018 presidential elections, of taking tough action against certain ‘independent voices’ and of being unable to effectively guarantee human rights as well as the main freedoms in Russia.”
Unacceptable US comments “amount to direct interference in the election process and a foreign state’s domestic affairs” – a US specialty.
Its accusations are baseless, not a shred of evidence supporting them.
In 2012, Russia’s Central Election Commission published a report with verifiable facts, “prov(ing) US elections are not direct, universal and equal, and that they do not guarantee the secret-ballot vote principle,” MZ explained.
Instead of falsely criticizing Russia’s electoral process, shaming its own, Washington should clean up its disgraceful act – a fantasy democracy, not the real thing.
In 1933, during the FDR era in America, Soviet Russian official Maxim Litvinov and Roosevelt exchanged personal notes, posted on Russia’s Foreign Ministry web site, MZ explained.
They both agreed to the “indisputable right (of their nations) to order (their) own (affairs) within (their) own jurisdiction in (their) own way” – free from foreign interference.
Washington systematically breaches virtually all international agreements at its discretion – why it can never be trusted.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”