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Diplomat says Russia ready to restore normal relations with US, Canada

January 12, 2017, 18:04 UTC+3

"The question is whether they are ready," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

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© Mikhail Dzhparidze/TASS

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Russia is ready to restore a normal dialogue with the US and Canada, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"We are ready to maintain normal and pragmatic dialogue," she said. "However, this is not only about our attitude towards some countries, this is about our basic political principle."

According to the Russian diplomat, Moscow is "open and ready for dialogue despite all the difficulties and the fact that we have different views on many problems." "This is our approach to the development of bilateral relations," Zakharova noted. "We believe that any problem is better solved through dialogue while if you close doors, then problems cannot be solved for there is no dialogue."

"We are ready for dialogue to improve relations with both the United States and Canada," the diplomat said. "We have always said that bringing groundless charges against Russia won’t lead anywhere. It wasn’t us launching information campaigns and calling for isolation."

On Freeland’s appointment as Canada’s foreign minister

The principle of reciprocity could prevail in delisting individuals from sanctions lists, Zakharova said commenting on Canada’s decision to name Chrystia Freeland, who was banned by Moscow in 2014, as its new minister of foreign affairs.

"We don’t know what line Canada’s Foreign Ministry will adopt, what its priorities will be," the Russian diplomat noted. "We will take into account their specific actions and the agenda the Canadian Foreign Ministry is expected to develop."

At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out that Canada’s new foreign minister had been banned by Moscow in 2014. "It was a mere reciprocal measure taken in response to Canada banning Russian officials," Zakharova said.

"We should take into consideration the principle of reciprocity when delisting individuals from blacklists," Zakharova concluded.

Freeland is known as a prominent critic of Moscow over the Donbass conflict and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In 2014, Moscow blacklisted her together with some other Canadian citizens, who were banned from entering Russia, in response to Canada’s decision to blacklist Russian officials.

"The question is whether they are ready," Zakharova stressed. "Russia is ready to build a pragmatic dialogue and working ties."

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