US stalling chances for peaceful solution to Syria crisis: Russia

Russia has accused the United States of stalling chances of a peaceful solution to the ongoing Syria crisis by continuing to arm militants fighting against the government in Damascus.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Washington’s plan to arm militants operating in Syria would hinder joint efforts to organize an international peace conference the two countries agreed in May to hold on Syria.

“If our American partners are now focusing on arming the opposition and are sharing plans … to strike Syrian government positions, then this, of course, runs against agreements to hold a conference,” Reuters quoted Lavrov as saying in a press conference in Moscow.

Russia has repeatedly warned US, the European Union and their regional allies against the consequences of supplying more weapons to the militants in Syria, saying the move would only encourage the opposition to step up fighting instead of sitting down for talks.

“The activities aimed at providing weapons to the opposition, which have recently intensified, only mean that the precondition [set by the foreign-backed militants to restore a balance of power on the battlefield] is supported by the West and other countries which are going to supply such weapons, this contradicting the very concept of the conference, which is to begin without any preconditions,” Lavrov said on Friday.

Washington and Moscow are at odds over the Syrian crisis. While the US supports anti-Damascus militants seeking to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Russia remains a supporter of Assad.

Russia accuses the West of fuelling the Syrian conflict by calling for Assad’s ouster. In return, Washington says Moscow is not doing enough to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

By Press TV


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