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MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Moscow is prepared for constructive relations with Washington, but the United States should make up its mind whether it is going to develop relations in earnest, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has told a news briefing.
"The Washington Post has published an article containing allegations about violence in relation to US diplomats in Russia and in third countries. In reality it is Russian diplomats in the United States that are vulnerable to mounting pressures," Zakharova said. "The United States thinks up ever new restrictions for our diplomats, who are faced with continued provocations by the CIA and the FBI. It repeatedly takes impermissible measures, including psychological pressures, while family members have to watch. In some cases such actions occurred in the presence of our diplomats’ pregnant wives."
"Instead of reacting to our signal, identifying the problem and creating a climate for straightening out relations everything is turned upside down," she said. "The newspaper wrote about some ostensible persecution of US diplomats. The publication does not reflect the real picture. It is half-baked. The ‘main expert’ quoted in the article is former US ambassador Michael McFaul. We remember his professional ineptitude. McFaul’s diplomatic mission fell through with a crash. Possibly, it was his efforts that contributed to the worsening of bilateral relations."
Zakharova said that after several years of failures McFaul is now telling stories about how hard his job in Moscow was.
"This publication is biased. All this harms the climate of bilateral relations," she said.
"It was Washington that had declared that the sanctions were expected to cause a change of power in Russia. That policy has failed," she stated. "The US Congress is now considering a bill that would impose restrictions on the movements of Russian diplomats. It was not the Russian side who authored it."
Zakharova recalled that "in diplomacy there exists the principle of reciprocity."
"Our counterparts should make up their mind as to what is it they want in reality: to develop relations, or at least, not to make them worse, or cook more such publications," she said. "As it worsens relations with Russia, Washington makes the working conditions for its diplomats worse, too."
"We do hope that we will achieve constructive relations with the United States. We are prepared for that," she concluded.