Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the statement by the European External Action Service on a verdict by Russian court

Submitted on Fri, 09/25/2020 - 14:57

We have to state with regret that the practice of distorting facts with a view to misleading the world public is becoming a brand identity of EU diplomacy.

Speaking about recent examples, I would mention the recent press release by the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the verdict issued by the district military court in Rostov-on-Don in a case of seven individuals accused of involvement with a political organisation.

We consider it important to clear up this issue and to do so publicly. The matter deals with the participants of the Crimean cell of the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir. They received different terms in prison for the proven terrorist crimes. Contrary to Brussels’ allegations, their political views, nationality or ethnic origin have nothing to do with the court’s verdict.

This is not the first time we are seeing attempts by our Western partners to divide terrorists into good, bad and moderate guys. Regrettably, residents of the EU countries who have first-hand experience of the horrors of terrorist attacks know what tragic consequences such attempts have.

We resolutely denounce any actions undermining or eroding the efforts of the international community to counter the terrorist threat.

To conclude, I’d like to say that by virtue of its mandate the EEAS is responsible for implementing a common foreign policy of the EU member countries. Since 2003, the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir have been banned by law in Germany, which has always declared its unflagging commitment to the supremacy of law and national judicial procedures. It would be interesting to hear what Berlin thinks about such overt attempts by EU diplomacy to put the said terrorist group on the same footing with a political organisation. This is not a rhetorical question. Or do the ends justify the means and it is possible to simply ignore obvious transgressions of one’s own law when it comes to politicised attacks on our country?

We still hope to receive an answer to this question.