"It's more difficult to restore than destroy" - Maria Zakharova on negotiations with NATO and Iran
Maria Zakharova, answering questions from The Moscow Post correspondent, recalled why the military would participate in the Russia-NATO meeting, and also spoke about progress in negotiations on the Iranian "nuclear deal."
First of all, she recalled why representatives of military departments will take part in the Russia-NATO meeting, as well as about the efforts of our country to restore the joint comprehensive action plan (JCPOA), from which the United States illegally withdrew.
- How can you comment on the signals received from the United States and NATO in response to the draft Russian proposals of December 17? The minister, in particular, said that the meeting within the framework of the Russian Council-NATO should be held by military chiefs. What was the answer? - asked the journalist of The Moscow Post.
Maria Zakharova explained that an interdepartmental delegation will participate in the meeting in this format, which will include representatives of law enforcement agencies, both from Russia and from the countries participating in the North Atlantic Alliance. During the talks, it is planned to discuss substantive issues of strategic stability and security.
As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier, in 2014 NATO froze practical measures on the topic of military interaction and was only limited to periodic phone calls to the head of the security department. Negotiations will be conducted with the participation of US military representatives, as well as the "four" of the leading Western states. For Russia, as Lavrov noted, it is not the form of contacts with NATO that is important, but the essence of negotiations, and the need to talk at the military level - professionally and responsibly. That is why the delegation included representatives of the security department. Our country also expects the participation of military representatives of NATO.
The second question of The Moscow Post journalist concerned the progress of negotiations on the restoration of the JCPOA in its original form.
Maria Zakharova recalled the immutable truth - it is always more difficult to restore than to destroy.
"We urged our American partners to think when they unilaterally, in violation of the methods and forms of withdrawal from the treaty developed by the American diplomats themselves, simply fled from the nuclear deal with Iran. Current colleagues in Washington have repeatedly, I think, regretted the decision of their previous administration to break the nuclear deal with Iran. We know what the maximum pressure policy leads to, the results are always well known in advance. We sincerely hope and wish that our American partners will not repeat such mistakes in the future on other tracks, "the diplomat emphasized.
As the representative of the Foreign Ministry noted, now the question is how to return the implementation of the JCPOA to a stable course in accordance with the parameters and conditions that were agreed in 2015 and approved in UN Security Council resolution 2231.
There is a clear understanding, Maria Zakharova continued, that the path to the goal lies through the correction by the American side of all violations and Tehran's counter-steps to unfreeze previously suspended voluntary commitments to limit the Iranian nuclear program. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recalled: now we are not talking about a new deal to replace the one concluded in 2015.
"We have to methodically, in terms of size, restore the balance of interests lost as a result of US actions, it was on this balance that the JCPOA was originally built," Zakharova said.
In her opinion, now all parties to the negotiations in the "Vienna format" are determined to achieve the result as soon as possible. In Russia, they saw comments that Iran was allegedly slowing down the negotiation process.
"We see no reason to claim that the Iranian side is slowing down the process, and this is not in its interests. Tehran has repeatedly stated this, since while the JCPOA is stalling, illegal US sanctions continue to apply. Washington needs to meaningfully reinforce its repeated promises to return to the JCPOA with practical steps. Obviously, the situation of the violator of the UN Security Council resolution gives the Americans increasing discomfort, "said Maria Zakharova.
Russia, for its part, is doing everything necessary to rectify the situation: through diplomatic efforts, concrete work, interaction with the parties, and hopes that intensive negotiating efforts on the Vienna platform will continue, despite the opposition of opponents of the nuclear deal.
"We firmly believe that the JCPOA has no alternative. We are convinced that its full implementation will favorably affect the political climate in the Middle East, in the Persian Gulf zone, will help reduce tension in the region and strengthen confidence between the countries, "said Maria Zakharova.