Lavrov: Russia wants to take into account the interests of Syria, and not just Assad or the opposition


PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, October 24. Russia wants to take into account the interests of the whole of Syria, and not just President Bashar Assad or the opposition. This was stated by Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the program “Vesti on Saturday with Sergei Brilev”.

“We don’t want to specifically consider the interests of one of Bashar Assad nor the particular interests of one of the opposition, the Minister said. – We want to take into account the interests of Syria. As for Syria, it is important to peaceful atmosphere, as soon as possible the war ended, and that terrorists did not have the chance to seize power in Damascus, and in any other part of Syria.”

Lavrov did not comment on the details of the organization of the visit of Syrian President to Russia. “I’m not going to go into details – said the Minister. – Most importantly, the Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Moscow and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and safely returned home.”

The position of the “detachment” of the EU

The European Union now understands that the position of “detachment” from the Syrian Affairs for him unacceptable, Lavrov said.

“I guess so “trigger” was the wave of migrants, although there are about 700 thousand, which, in General, small compared with the number of Ukrainians, which took Russia and that remain in our territory, – he said. Is roughly comparable with the influx of Syrian refugees in the countries of the region that few people remembered until the migration has not hit Europe”.

“Such a purely pragmatic interest of Europe must be supplemented by its political involvement in the settlement, – said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry. – The EU should and is already beginning to recognize the root causes of migration crisis and chaos in the middle East”.

The Russian Minister drew attention to the fact that in Europe “are no longer ashamed to remember Iraq and the failure of his “democratization”, which in return turned serious threat of split of the country and religious tensions within it”.

“Already starting to remember a more recent example of Libya, which turned into a corridor not controlled the smuggling of migrants from many countries of North Africa, not only North, but also “black”, he continued. – Starting to remember how it dealt with the former head of Libya Muammar Gaddafi, trying to proceed from the illusion that when you change the dictator’s democracy is taking root by itself.”

“I am convinced that these lessons are most serious politicians learned in their minds, and in Syria even with continued antiacademic the rhetoric of the “pseudo-democratization” brewing the correct understanding of the situation, – said Lavrov. – It gives us hope in the foreseeable future yet to move the political process and using external players, to sit all Syrians behind a negotiating table”.

“External players for Syrians will not solve anything, we need to force themselves to develop an algorithm of further stay in the country, when the interests of any religious, ethnic or political group will be protected – said the head of the Russian dipvedomstva. – Of course, it is necessary to prepare for elections – parliamentary and presidential.”

About the successes of the Syrian army

The head of the Russian foreign Ministry noted that the successes of the Syrian army with air support from Russia should make government more interested in promoting the political process.

“I am convinced that a lot of the success is showing the Syrian army with our air support, enables you to consolidate your position of power and should make government more interested in advancing political process”, – said the Minister.

Lavrov said that the topic was discussed during the recent visit of the Syrian leader to Russia.

“We talked about it with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad, – said the Minister. – He understands this himself, incidentally, suggested that the military phase of counter-terrorism need to be complemented by consolidation of the healthy part of society and the beginning of a political process that would incorporate the interest of all the Syrians along ethnic, religious lines, political allegiances – all in the state system and the authorities.”

Participation in the settlement of the Syrian conflict

According to Lavrov, the Syrian issue should engage Iran, Egypt, Qatar, UAE and Jordan.

Responding to a question about whether he considered sufficient the format of the talks on Syria U.S.-Russia-Saudi Arabia-Turkey, the head of the Russian foreign Ministry said that doesn’t think so. “No, of course not, – said the Minister. – We are agreeing on this format, once again said that are convinced of the futility of trying to create without the participation of Iran, this “outer circle” support of the Syrian settlement”. “We are also convinced that in the current environment it is crucial to include in this group, Egypt, Qatar, UAE, Jordan,” – said Lavrov.

The US was wrong to refuse to coordinate with Russia its anti-terrorism campaign in the middle East, the Russian Minister said.

“The action of our military presence in Syria is regarded by the majority – and many publicly – as the most effective response to a terrorist threat, especially against the backdrop of more than a year of American participation in coalition against the “Islamic state” (is prohibited in the Russian Federation – approx.TASS), which during this period only increased their territorial gains,” said the Minister.

“A big mistake is the refusal of the Americans to coordinate with us their anti-terrorist campaign, – said Lavrov. – We are ready for such coordination as deeply as possible”.

According to him, the Russian side is ready to cooperate with the Patriotic opposition, as well as support from the air the so-called “Free Syrian army”, while “we refuse to provide information about where, according to U.S. estimates, are terrorists, and Patriotic opposition”.

“For us the main thing – to reach people that will be authoritative to submit to those or other armed groups opposing including terrorism,” he added.

According to the Russian Minister, the U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry in a telephone conversation with the head of the Russian foreign Ministry said that conditions for the visit of a Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the Syrian settlement are not yet ripe.

“We never clap the door, do not build of itself the offended. Whenever a man refuses to speak on a serious issue, the question arises, how does he have a vision of what is happening, how he has his own ideas about how the problem”, – said Lavrov. According to him, this reaction “does not add credibility to any state if it refuses to meet at any level, when a request for a meeting to do.”

“When such initiatives are our American colleagues, we always respond, we don’t walk away from a conversation”, – said the Minister.

He noted that the proposal of the Secretary of state to meet in Vienna on Syria “suggests that they have an understanding of dialogue and that dialogue without participation of Russia hardly will bring calm for this region”. “Unless, of course, we all want calm to the region, rather than continuing here disturbances and fragmentation of States, weakening them, regime change – I hope not”, – said the head of depodesta.

“When we about this meeting (in Vienna) agreed, Kerry said on the phone: “What do you have that reaction to our reaction to the proposal to make the visit of the delegation of Dmitry Medvedev?”. And how are we supposed to react? We received an official letter from the U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft, in which it is written: “the United States rejects the Russian proposal to send to Washington this delegation,” – said Lavrov. Kerry told me: “You know, it is not necessary to understand so literally, because we’re in the process. Yet the conditions for such contact are not ripe. Let’s work on the Ministerial level, and then we will be ready to consider your ideas”.

Contacts of Russia with the political forces in Syria

The foreign Minister noted that Russia is the only country maintaining contacts with all political forces in Syria.

“Here in Moscow for the last four years has been almost without exception the leaders of the various opposition groups: the national coalition (national coalition for opposition and revolutionary forces – approx.TASS), and the “Muslim brotherhood”, and the national coordination Committee of Syria”, – noted the Minister.

According to him, the Russian Federation has arrived “and those oppositionists, who, without being refugees, who have always worked inside Syria and advocated the democratization of the country and taking greater account of their approaches.” “So when they so often have been when we held two special forum of the opposition “on the Moscow platform”, meaning that they can unite on a constructive basis responsibility for their country, on the basis of readiness to negotiate a political solution to Syria’s problems, we are not reproached that we are “doing the whole bet” on the opposition”, – said Lavrov.

“We never stopped working with the Syrian government nor with the opposition, said Lavrov. – I think we’re probably the only country which has maintained contacts with all political forces in Syria.”