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Top diplomat slams allegations involving Russian ambassador to US as 'witch-hunt'

March 03, 2017, 13:23 UTC+3

The Russian top diplomat notes 'our ambassador is accused of meeting with the US politicians who opposed the Obama administration'

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. The allegations involving Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak are reminiscent of a witch hunt, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"Countries appoint ambassadors in order to maintain relations, this is done through meetings, conversations and contacts with state officials and legislators," the Russian top diplomat said. "I can cite a quotation circulated by the media which says that "all this is very much reminiscent of a witch hunt."

"I can cite the media that say all this is very much reminiscent of a witch hunt and the McCarthyism era which we all thought was long gone," Lavrov said. "As for accusations against Kislyak and those he met with… Our ambassador is accused of meeting with the US politicians who opposed the Obama administration. This is the essence of the accusations, to be honest," the Russian foreign minister noted.

"We don’t want to act the same and we won’t do that. If we applied the same principle to (the US) Ambassador to Russia (John) Tefft, this would be real fun," Lavrov added.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that in July and September 2016 the current US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who then was Alabama Senator, had held two meetings with Kislyak. However, during his confirmation hearings in Congress, Sessions did not mention these meetings while under oath, which led the Democratic Party to demand his resignation.

In this connection, Russia pointed out that meetings between ambassadors, lawmakers and state officials were a normal practice.

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