MOSCOW, March 8. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova daily highlights Moscow’s positions on the acutest international issues, reacts to the West’s threadbare accusations and comments on all possible ‘fake news’ stories.
The media and all those who follow the news have been accustomed to seeing her as a firm and uncompromising speaker who will get tough on detractors. However, on March 8, which is celebrated as International Women’s Day, the diplomat showed her feminine, creative and romantic features. Instead of politics, the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman spoke about something dear to her heart in an exclusive interview with TASS.
World as the podium
Everyone who saw Maria Zakharova in life or on TV screens will confidently say that high-heel shoes are her ‘visiting card.’ While she puts on sports footwear for exercises in the gym or for jogging, judging from photographs, no one would, perhaps, be surprised to see her wearing pumps for this occasion. Maria has inherited her love for such footwear from her grandmother.
"My grandma always wore heeled shoes. Usually, these were low-heel footwear or wedge shoes. Up to the last year of her life, her ‘legs were elegantly modelled.’ Even in her country house, she managed to wear elegant footwear," the diplomat stressed.
"I like wearing heeled footwear. One woman told me: "I can only lie at rest in such high heels.’ But I like to dance and hold events in such footwear," Maria said.
This was vividly illustrated about two years ago, when the Russian diplomat performed the traditional Russian Kalinka dance, wearing high-heel shoes. Her dance got a large number of views on YouTube.
Rejecting imposed standards
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman holds weekly media briefings. But her appearances before the press evoke the interest of not only reporters but also of social network users who note her style. Many have even got an impression that the diplomat uses the stylist’s services while preparing for a media briefing.
But it turns out that this is not the case. "When it comes to a media briefing, there are no specially trained people who would do a makeup (make-up specialists work only on television)," Zakharova said, explaining that this format was her work rather than a ‘high-society’ event.
Consular receptions are also a part of Zakharova’s work. The wives of diplomats, for example, may wear evening gowns at such events while she tries to keep the ‘casual’ style. "All the same, you continue working, in spite of what the reception is devoted to," she said.
The diplomat is categorically against any ‘recipes’ of an ideal style because all women are different with their own perceptions of life. For example, she holds views completely differing from the views of her mother on what ornaments to wear. Her mother loves large adornments whereas Maria is very reserved and laconic in this regard.
The first lady of Russian diplomacy feels at rest when she does work to beautify her home. "I like leisure but it should be creative," the diplomat said.
The interior or, as she calls it, the ‘organization of space,’ is one of her main devotions.
"This can be decorating work or simply re-arrangement of the interior. For example, new curtains, which we can sew together with my mother and my daughter. Even my TV preferences are linked with that: I like very much the TV channels and programs devoted to arranging the space around yourself," the diplomat said.
But Maria’s creativity space is not limited only to four walls of her house. She also loves planting tulips and narcissuses in a garden outside Moscow, which she gently calls her ‘small world’ and which gives her great pleasure.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson who is always in contact has a small dream: to spend a day without a mobile phone.
"It seems very funny to me when people ask to give them a new model of some phone as a gift on a public holiday. This evokes my smile because the sole gift for me would be its absence for a day or at least for several hours. A telephone is the embodiment of work," Zakharova said.
Each family has its tradition and the family of Maria Zakharova is no exception. In a talk with TASS, the diplomat shared, perhaps, one of her most sacred things: how her family celebrates Victory Day. Both of her grandfathers fought during the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany in 1941-1945. Each year on May 9, Maria Zakharova and her relatives gather at her country house and watch a live TV broadcast of the Victory Parade in Red Square in the morning, and in the evening they remember those who fell on the battlefield.
Maria Zakharova loves flowers and frequently shares photos of bouquets with her subscribers in social networks. The Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman is presented with flowers on the eve of national holidays, at weekly briefings and during official visits.
The diplomat said there had been a huge amount of flowers in her life. "They were sent from very distant countries, even in the form of herbarium when there was no other possibility to send flowers otherwise. There were also flowers grown with her own hands, lilies of the valley in winter and many other things," she recalled.
However, there is one flower, which Zakharova has never held in her hands - the edelweiss.
"I read very much about it because it is considered to be a flower of those who were born in December. It grows in mountains. I have never had it live," the diplomat said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also said she liked spending her free time in a botanic garden or in greenhouses. "When a large amount of flowers is given as a present on national holidays, you get an impression as if you are in a greenhouse," she said. And your office "is filled with the joy of life," the diplomat said.