The United States is trying to shift blame onto Russia by suspending cooperation with Moscow over a ceasefire in Syria, Russian news agencies cited foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Monday.
Zakharova added that Washington had not fulfilled key aspects of a ceasefire deal brokered with Moscow. Russia had taken steps in recent days to sustain that deal, Zakharova said.
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In a sharp deterioration of relations, the US on Monday suspended diplomatic contacts with Russia over Syria, while Moscow halted cooperation on a joint program for disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.
The US move followed a threat last week from Secretary of State John Kerry after new Russian and Syrian attacks on the city of Aleppo. The State Department said Russia had not lived up to the terms of an agreement last month to restore the cease-fire and ensure sustained deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged cities.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments … and was also either unwilling or unable to ensure Syrian regime adherence to the arrangements to which Moscow agreed.”