Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Koktebel, October 10, 2018

We are watching the situation involving Russian citizen Maria Butina (as you know, she was arrested in the United States on absolutely far-fetched charges). On October 4, Russian diplomats visited her in prison again. Maria did not complain about any health problems. Owing to the efforts of the Russian Embassy in the US, her confinement conditions were improved. In the meantime, we are indignant over the campaign to smear Butina in the US media. This is not even propaganda but deliberate distortion of reality and information. We are particularly concerned about the fact that this is done openly, with the prompting of US government bodies, notably, the US Department of Justice that is trying to portray Butina as some kind of “spy.” Our consular visits to Butina are presented as evidence of her “connection” with the Russian Government. As you know from our accounts (many journalists can confirm this) we visit all Russian citizens who get into trouble, who are in prison.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the presentation of the multi-volume work “World History”, Moscow, October 10, 2018

We have gathered today on a wonderful occasion – a ceremony to mark the publication of a fundamental academic work “World History in Six Volumes” edited by Russian Academy of Sciences member Alexander Chubaryan. First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the authors that put their hard work and creativity into its preparation. It is especially important for us that researchers from educational institutions subordinate to the Foreign Ministry – MGIMO and the Diplomatic Academy – took part in this large-scale project.

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, October 4, 2018

We are closely monitoring the situation around Russian citizen Maria Butina arrested in the United States on fabricated charges. She has been groundlessly deprived of her freedom for two and a half months now and is in fact a political prisoner. The consular officers of the Russian Embassy in Washington regularly visit Maria Butina in the prison of the city of Alexandria, Virginia, where she is currently being held. Thanks to the efforts of our diplomats, Maria’s conditions of detention have significantly improved. In late September, after a long isolation, she was finally transferred to ordinary confinement. She can now leave the cell, communicate with other inmates and make phone calls. With the assistance of the Embassy, an Orthodox priest visited her in prison.

Remarks and answer to media question by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a joint press conference following talks with State Secretary for External Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs of Hungary Peter Szijjarto Moscow, October 3, 2018

We have discussed in detail our bilateral relations, regional, European and international problems with due account and in line with the agreements reached at the meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the Kremlin on September 18. We identified concrete measures towards effective and expeditious fulfilment of these agreements. We noted the positive trends in trade which has already increased by 30 per cent during the early months of this year to $4 billion.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 28, 2018

I don’t know how some or other things are perceived in the government circles of other countries and therefore I would rather refrain from commenting on this here. As I said in my reply to the previous question, terrorists should be destroyed or, as an alternative, put on trial. If they resist, they must be destroyed. There are methods that the military have mastered. There are special operations forces that have mastered urban antiterrorist warfare tactics. I suppose professionals should consider these matters but there is no doubt that their position of principle on the unacceptability of leaving a terrorist hotbed in Syria is the same as ours.
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