15:48 Apr. 19, 2016
Russia sharply reacts to the interview of NATO Deputy Secretary General on Ukraine Today
Russia's Foreign Ministry official representative says Moscow did not hold any secret negotiations with the NATO leaders.
Earlier foreign media reported on "two secret meetings" that took place between Russian officials and the Alliance. Yet this does not correspond to reality, Maria Zakharova, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on Facebook.
Zakharova explained that former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and current NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said in an interview that Russia and NATO allegedly conducted two meetings during the last two years.
"NATO and Russia had two meetings following 'Russia's annexation' of Crimea", said Vershbow. A TV host suggested that the 'meetings' must have been secret, which was not directly confirmed by Vershbow. Vershbow said something else - that the negotiations were not 'very successful'.
Following the U.S. politician's statement, information about the alleged secret NATO-Russia negotiations appeared in media.
"Apparently, these "two secret and unsuccessful" meetings were so "secret and unsuccessful" that no one in Russia knows about them," said Zakharova.
According to Zakharova, this misinformation can only be explained by the fact that NATO, which is confronting "Russia's propaganda machine", does not refer to Russian official information outlets (for example, the Russian Foreign Ministry's website), which are the most reliable sources.
"As long as Western partners do not ban the Russian Internet segment, I am publishing screenshots of press releases issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry and its missions abroad on the "secret and unsuccessful" NATO-Russia negotiations after the Alliance unilaterally froze all the contacts with Russia on April 1, 2014," said Zakharova.
The Russian diplomat stressed Russia held not two but more meetings with NATO representatives, including Brussels meetings on June 2 and 7, 2014 and on May 19, 2015, New York negotiations on September 29, 2015, and Munich talks on February 12, 2015.