Russia doesn’t take statements by NATO chief seriously any longer — Maria Zakharova

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MOSCOW: Moscow will no longer take seriously any statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who has been named to head Norway’s central bank, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

She made the comments in response to Stoltenberg’s statement that NATO’s doors will remain open for Ukraine.

“These statements made by Stoltenberg, who is the NATO secretary general – or a banker, I’m still confused – are no longer of interest for us,” she said. “He’s not a person whose statements will be regarded in Moscow as serious arguments. He’s a NATO has been.”

The diplomat said she was hoping constructive talks with the US and NATO on security guarantees will continue. “These issues require an in-depth, substantive conversation,” she said. “Or it will be like what happened between us and the British foreign minister in Moscow: a conversation between a mute person and a deaf person.”

“We’d like the sides to hear each other, rather than lecture each other or make empty statements that are just a waste of breath, rather than being aimed at respecting each other’s concerns,” Zakharova said.

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