Russia accuses NATO chief of lying on dialogue efforts

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MOSCOW

Russia on Friday slammed as “lies” the NATO chief’s remark about Moscow refusing to have a dialogue with the alliance.

In fact Russia suggested holding substantive talks with the participation of military experts on issues of concern to both sides, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.

The statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “that Russia refuses to engage in dialogue are not true, they are lies,” she said.

“A substantive conversation was proposed, it was suggested not to go into the politicized PR show, which is what our Western partners are so famous for. It was suggested to talk specifically, with the participation of experts, including military experts, on a wide range of issues.”

Zakharova called on Stoltenberg “to stop spreading disinformation about Russia” and look at the country’s proposals that are still on the table.

Turning to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell labeling Russia “a dangerous neighbor,” she called them “stupid.”

Zakharova argued that unlike European countries Russia never started a world war, and that by repelling the invasions of European countries, Russia also freed other occupied nations.

“To say that Russia is a ‘dangerous neighbor’ is stupid. These are unacceptable comparisons and expressions,” she said.

She added: “We suggested that the European Union change its accusatory tone, be realistic, see its own problems, and not try to minimize its own problems by mythologizing Russia’s aggressive role.”

Zakharova also stressed that throughout history European countries attacked Russia many times.

“Mr. Borrell needs to take a realistic look and analyze who is really a dangerous neighbor, not to invent something that’s not really there. Why and who gave Borrell the right to speak to the people of Russia in such terms and in such a tone?” she said.

– Biden’s news conference ‘orchestrated’

Asked about Thursday’s first news conference by US President Joe Biden, Zakharova said it was staged and violated freedom of speech.

“Obviously, the conference was orchestrated. Personally, I was appalled, I won’t hide it,” she said, branding it part of an “information campaign.”

She said US presidential news conferences used to set examples for other countries, but today the US discriminates against not only foreign media but also its own.

“The floor was given only to one group of journalists, and those who represent another part of the journalistic community were not given the floor at all,” she claimed.

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