Terrorists' Plans to Undermine Cooperation in Astana Format Futile: Zakharova

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday that plans of terrorists in Syria to undermine cooperation in the Astana format and derail agreements on Idlib are futile.

Despite the efforts  exerted ,the situation in Idlib is explosive, Zakharova said, clarifying that terrorists are doing their best to derail the implementation of measures to delimitate the so-called "moderate forces" and create a demilitarized zone. The scale of provocations carried out by them is unfortunately growing, she said, according to Itar Tass.

 Zakharova reiterated that on November 24 militants of the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra carried out an attack on Aleppo’s residential quarters with shells and chlorine, injuring more than 100 people.

"This work was conducted before to provoke the US-led coalition to carry out massive strikes on the government forces, but now, as we can see, the goal is different: to derail the implementation of the specified Russian-Turkish memorandum and destabilize cooperation in the Astana format, in particular between Russia and Turkey," the diplomat stressed. "Another meeting on Syria in Astana showed that such plans of terrorists are futile."

Moscow cautions Kiev’s martial law move may stoke conflict engulfing all of Ukraine

In another context, Zakharova commented on the declaration of martial law in some of Ukraine’s regions by saying that Moscow is concerned that the civil conflict may engulf the whole of Ukraine following the declaration of martial law.

"The Ukrainian military has been granted exclusive powers, including the extrajudicial use of force, which poses a serious danger, as the civil conflict may engulf the entire country," she said.

According to the Russian diplomat, the law, which declared martial law citing the need to deter "Russia’s aggression," stipulates restrictions on basic human rights and freedoms, including freedoms of speech, assembly and movement. "The Kiev authorities can now seize anything they want from the country’s people, from private property to identification documents," Zakharova pointed out.