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Russia claims U.S. is conducting "scorched earth" policy

MOSCOW -- The Russian Foreign Ministry says that the United States is conducting a “scorched earth” policy in relation to Russia during the final months of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Thursday that “this is very dangerous.”

Zakharova says that the U.S. is blocking the release of money to projects in Russia from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated amid the collapse of a failed cease-fire in Syria and U.S. accusations that Russia is meddling in the U.S. presidential election next month.

Zakharova said that “nobody should harbor the illusion that you can pressure Russia, neither the current American authorities nor those who will replace them.”

Russia said Wednesday that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland on Saturday to discuss efforts to find a peace deal in Syria.

The encounter will be the first face-to-face contact between the two men since Washington bitterly broke off bilateral diplomatic contact with Moscow over the Syrian war earlier this month. A brief cease-fire in Syria that was brokered by Russia and the United States collapsed last month.

Lavrov and Kerry will meet in the Swiss city of Lausanne, according to a Wednesday statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported from inside Aleppo that kids are usually among the victims of the Russian and Syrian strikes, making life a hell for the few families left in the city.

The U.N. and Doctors Without Borders are pushing for a ceasefire -- even a temporary one -- to allow the evacuation of seriously wounded people from besieged Aleppo. So far, the Syrians and Russians are saying no.

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