Towards the end of a press briefing in Russia late last week, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova made several comments about Russia’s frustrations with the Obama State Department over leaking diplomatic plans the United States had asked Russia to keep secret, and then issued what can only be construed as a warning in response to the flood of highly classified information finding it’s way from the US Intelligence Community to the media.
The US Department of State has more than once asked us not to announce planned visits until the last minute. This is not our tradition. We have been operating openly for years, but we have respected the requests we have received from our colleagues in Washington in the past few years. But what happened after that? First, the US Department of State asked us to keep the planned visit quiet and not to announce it until the last possible minute, until we coordinated the date. We did as they asked. But a day or two later the information was leaked by the US State Department and sometimes by the US administration. Frankly, this put Russia and the media in a strange situation, because they didn’t know who to believe – the official agencies or the many leaks.
Zakharova left the door open to diplomacy, implying that this behavior may have been unique to the Obama State Department:
It is difficult to say if this diplomatic communication is a US tradition or the latest technique. As I said, such cases in our relations with the US Department of State have become a bad tradition over the past few years.
In regards to the leaks of highly classified information making it’s way out of the US Intelligence Community concerning Russia, a stern warning was issued:
Also, I would like to say that if the practice of leaking information that concerns not just the United States but also Russia, which has become a tradition in Washington in the past few years, continues, there will come a day when the media will publish leaks about the things that Washington asked us to keep secret, for example, things that happened during President Obama’s terms in office.
Believe me, this could be very interesting information.
I wonder if that includes whatever President Obama was talking about with outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev?
— ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) March 28, 2017
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