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Foreign Ministry spokeswoman asks US media to focus on contacts of US diplomats in Russia

March 02, 19:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The diplomat has commented on the publications about the recent contacts Russia’s ambassador in Washington had with the current US Attorney-General during the 2016 presidential election

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MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has asked US media to pay more attention to the contacts US embassy officials have in Moscow. She said so in response to the latest publications about the recent contacts Russia’s ambassador in Washington Sergey Kislyak had with the current Attorney-General Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential election.

"There have been dozens of articles about Russian diplomats who ‘keep spying,’ ‘recruiting’ and ‘meeting with’… Against this background a massive campaign is launched over some ‘illegal’ contacts by Russian embassy officials in the United States with the Americans," Zakharova said. "In the meantime the diplomats are just doing their job. It is part of their work to have contacts in the host country. This is stated everywhere. Diplomats are obliged to meet with both officials and members of the political establishment of the country where they work."

"What the media in the US and not only in the US take dare to write is an attempt at total disinformation of the public opinion in their countries and around the world. Constant fanning of this rhetoric about illegal contacts by Russian diplomats is absolute, total disinformation," Zakharova said.

"Everybody knows that having contacts is part and parcel of a diplomat’s job," Zakharova said. "Why aren’t you eager to write about how many contacts US embassy officials in Moscow have? Why don’t you find this interesting enough? Will you please go and ask them."

The Washington Post said on Wednesday Jeff Sessions failed to make public his contacts with Russia’s ambassador in Washington in July and September last year, when Sessions was a senator from Alabama. Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions had failed to mention his contacts with Kislyak because they were in no way linked with the election campaign. The Wall Street Journal says US investigators had looked into Sessions’ contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign in the United States, but the results of that inquiry, just as its time frame, remain unclear. According to the daily, the probe was part of a sweeping investigation of likely contacts between members of the Trump election team with Russians under the surveillance of US counter-intelligence.

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