MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russia has received an official statement from the Vatican apologizing for Pope Francis' racially-charged remarks against Chechens and Buryats, so the incident is over, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova revealed at a briefing Thursday.
"It just so happens that within these hours, we received a letter through diplomatic channels from the Vatican, which contains an official statement on behalf of Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in connection with the pontiff’s aforementioned statement," the diplomat revealed, "That statement says, in particular, the following: ‘The Vatican Secretariat of State apologizes to the Russian side. The Holy See has the utmost respect for all peoples of Russia, their dignity, faith and culture, as well as for other countries and peoples of the world'."
"The ability to admit one's mistakes is increasingly rare in contemporary international communication. This situation shows that behind the Vatican's calls for dialogue stands the ability to conduct this dialogue and to listen to the interlocutors. I can tell you right now that this approach evokes sincere respect," Zakharova stressed, "We think that this incident is over and we hope that we will continue constructive cooperation with the Vatican".
Earlier, Pope Francis in an interview with US media uttered derogatory remarks about the Chechens and Buryats calling them "the cruelest" of the Russian troops stationed in Ukraine.