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With the world seemingly spiraling deeper into crisis over an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria and threats of direct conflict with Russia flying from Donald Trump’s Twitter account, Russia’s disarming but stern foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova sat down with the UK’s Sky News for a rare one-on-one interview.
Zakharova spoke in English in the over half an hour exchange, voicing Moscow’s position on US and allied threats of assault on Syria, and the status of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, whom Russia stands blamed by London of poisoning.
9-minute short clip from Sky News (see FULL 35-minute interview below):
Though she stressed that as a wife and mother she hoped for peace, Zakharova said Russia would not hesitate to defend its servicemen in Syria if they came under fire. The Russian presence in the country was by invitation, she said, unlike that of other foreign troops. She went on to denounce the alleged Douma chemical attack as faked for the cameras by the terrorists and White Helmets “aid” workers.
She also expressed relief in news of the recovery of Yulia Skripal, but demanded the UK produce evidence she was not being held against her will. Zakharova pointed out that at least 20 nations had the technical capability to produce the Novichok nerve agent supposedly used in the incident – not least of course Britain itself.
Throughout, Zakharova refused to let herself be drawn into traps or respond to provocative questions posed by the interviewer, who tried repeatedly to entice her into an embarrassing quote or gaffe.
Altogether, a very reasoned and insightful interview by one of Russia’s best official representatives.
WATCH FULL 35-minute Interview below: