EXCLUSIVE: Maria Zakharova: West is Launching an All-Out Anti-Russian Campaign
This is 60 Minutes. We discuss most important things.
— We have Maria Zakharova in our studio, talking about what's important. 130 Russian diplomats must leave 18 NATO and EU countries. They have one week to gather their things. What's up with this come-and-go manner? What do we think of this? They didn't prove anything in the Skripals' case. What is this, Maria?
Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Affairs rep:
— Hello, everyone. I'd like to give my most sincere condolences to everyone who lost loved ones in the Kemerovo tragedy. All my colleagues agree with me. Since I'm in your studio today, I can say that we are all deeply sorry for what's happened.
Unfortunately, even on this day, our Western colleagues, instead of giving their condolences to all of the Russians who've suffered, unfortunately, they did what they did. Of course, we knew what it was going to happen after the EU summit. Obviously, we've prepared for this. You've already said that a bunch of EU countries have sided with London, giving them their political support, and they've announced the upcoming expulsion of Russian diplomats.
— These countries are on our screen right now.
— Yes. Let's see. This list that appears on the screen is very indicative. Let's see what these numbers are about, and they say a lot. 60 people are being expelled from the US. 23 people have already been expelled from the UK. Let's see more numbers. We can see it's 1-4 diplomats everywhere. Well, the Ukraine issue is clear. This country, this regime has been sided with the right country for a long time. 60 and 23.
If it weren't for these numbers, we'd be guessing where all this crazy, scary performance by London had come from, and who the real beneficiary of this situation is. At this time, after these numbers have been published today, there's no doubt that behind this provocation that took place in the UK are strong, powerful forces that are located in the US and in the UK. Here's your motive to continue attacking our country in informational, propagandist, political, and other ways. There are no other theories to conclude from this situation. All the other countries… just display the notorious EU solidarity. This is my second point, which is the most important. Why? The UK PM, Theresa May, come to the EU summit to call upon their solidarity, the infamous unity of the foreign political course, which is the law for all of the EU countries. However, everyone seems to have forgotten that the UK has exited the EU. During the referendum, the UK voted for the Brexit, which means their country is to exit the EU. This way, during the EU summit, the UK has asked for solidarity from all of these countries that remain in the EU, while the UK itself had exited.
Do you see? They're planting a time bomb in all the countries that carry out this anti-Russian campaign. I'll say it again. The countries that got what they wanted by exiling the most diplomats are the US and the UK. I think everyone knows who's behind all this, behind this Russo-phobic campaign. Here's the deal for today.
— We just received an urgent message, so we go back to the UK. Theresa May said that the UK doesn't exclude the possibility that the entire EU will continue to pressure Russia. I don't know, this is a symptomatic statement.
— This is absurd. The EU and the people who live in these countries have completely forgotten that this union will have to live with its decisions. After the UK completes the negotiations of the Brexit terms, and after it gets all its desired preferences, it will leave them. It will leave them immobilized with this solidarity. So, who did the EU countries side with today? With the UK? That's what they said. But, the UK is no longer in the EU, it left.
— They left the EU, imposing new sanctions on us.
— According to Theresa May, Sergey and Yulia Skripal are still in critical condition. Please note that this is an official statement. They may never come out of this critical condition. Will we be able to prove we're right to anyone?
— This whole situation with these numbers and the expulsion of the diplomats has its roots in the Skripals' situation. I personally state that during the EU summit the UK didn't give the countries any facts about what had happened there. There were exclusively political statements and slogans, along with demands to side with this position. Thus, besides giving their political support, these EU countries have no idea whatsoever about what had happened in the UK.
And now, let's discuss what is happening in the UK. Specifically, in Porton Down, which was coincidentally so close to where the attack on the Skripals took place, according to London. On May 6th, 2004, The Guardian published an article by Rob Evans. It's still available, and I hope it won't get erased from The Guardian's website after today's show, it's available in this newspaper's archives. This article is completely about the Porton Down base. This article was published in 2004, because during that same spring of 2004 is when they reopened the case of a young pilot's death. He died over 50 years ago. He died after an experiment, where a chemical substance was applied to his arm, which caused his death. Do you really think this is the only case like that? Let's keep reading. I repeat, this is from The Guardian. This isn't Russian propaganda, this isn't Kremlin's doing, it's a UK newspaper.
Porton Down was founded in 1916. It is the oldest chemical warfare research installation in the world. It's not just a lab. According to the newspaper, this is where they experiment on people. Moreover, according to a British correspondent, the majority of human experiments in the world were performed in Porton Down, UK. For instance, it's alleged, according to the newspaper…
— We found this article for proof, it's still here for now.
— The newspaper assumes that for guinea pigs they used military men who were deceived into coming there. They allegedly agreed to the experiments voluntarily. What worries us the most is that those experiments have permanently harmed their health and lives. Furthermore, another important point. There has been a lot of scientific data on the effects of the nerve agents on a human body. The Guardian writes that this data had allowed Porton Down to develop the most modern anti-gas equipment for the British armed forces.
— Can we prove it to anyone? We know we're right, but they still impose sanctions on our country.
— Olga, this article, and its translation, will be published on all the online resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our foreign establishments. We're working on it. We've already sent a request to the OPCW. We discuss this with our colleagues. However, the issue is that the discipline via flogging that's present in the EU, and we all know who's behind the EU, it's NATO. The EU is just a pretty polity, and we've seen it in many situations, like in Ukraine, Syria, and other situations, nothing is up to them. It's just a polity, a pretty banner, a billboard for communication. But, behind it is a powerful monster, the face of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization. Moreover…
— Do they want us to become outsiders? Is that their endgame?
— Demonization of Russia is the main goal. Obviously, what we see right now is the continuance of this elaborate, long-term program for this, I hate this word, rabid, Russo-phobia in action. This is not just an issue for Russia as a country, it's definitely an issue for all the Russian people, because statements made by the West always says «ethnic Russian», «Russian citizen», or «Russia». This is all about the total Russo-phobia campaign that isn't even concealed anymore.
— Are we working on a response?
— As we heard in today's MFA statement, there will be a response to everything we've seen today. Appropriate measures will be taken towards each country. This includes the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the shutdown of the General Russian Consulate in Seattle, USA, in particular.
— Thank you very much. This was Maria Zakharova, our official Ministry of Foreign Affairs rep. We're working on responses for every country. There are even more countries now. We just learned that Norway will also expel one Russian diplomat. What's happening in the world? Watch Vesti right now. This was 60 Minutes. Again, Maria Zakharova, thank you very much.
— Thank you.
— Thank you, Masha.