Zakharova: Turkey's role as defender of national minorities is "very doubtful"

Maria Zakharova Greek diplomats

Ankara's concerns for the Crimean Tatar ethnic group were commented on by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

“There are many subjects, problems and areas to interact with Ankara," the spokeswoman said, adding: "We have experience [to do this]."

"Let’s apply this [working together] and avoid things similar to these [discussing ethnic issues in each other’s countries]," she continued.

"If this rhetoric continues, we should also pay attention to similar problems in Turkey," Zakharova warned. "We do not want to do that, so I hope the Turkish Foreign Ministry will listen to us today."

"We believe that the time has come for Turkish politicians to abandon the use of the ethnic factor as a means of geopolitical play, mainly harming the interests of these ethnic groups," she concluded.

Ankara claims that Russia mistreats the Crimean Tartars, a Turkic ethnic group.

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