The UN, 5 February. /Corr. Oleg Zelenin/. Russia cannot unilaterally stop its air campaign in Syria, while continuing attacks by armed opposition groups and coalition airstrikes led by the United States. This was stated today to journalists by the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vitaly Churkin on the results of the closed-door meeting of the Security Council.
The Syrian conflict and the main stages of its settlement
He rejected criticism from the Syrian opposition and a number of States have placed responsibility for the bad start of negotiations on Russia that pursues a campaign against terrorists. According to the diplomat, they have “no formal and moral grounds to criticize us”. “We can’t stop it (the bombing) unilaterally, he said. What about opposition groups? They will stop? What about the US-led coalition? They will stop?” Convinced Churkin, “all these issues must be discussed” at the talks, as well as the problem of humanitarian access to the population.
In addition, Russia’s permanent representative stated that “it is difficult to speak about a ceasefire” in a situation, when the border between Turkey and Syria continues to be used for the supply of weapons and sending militants. “We need to consider all these things,” he said.
Failure to coordinate the goals was a mistake
The diplomat drew attention to the fact that Russia started the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria months after he started air strikes of the U.S. coalition. “Unlike the US, our actions are legitimate, because we were invited by the Syrian government,” he said. Churkin also reminded that when Russia began air strikes on 30 September 2015, the United States was requested to coordinate the goals, but the American side refused. “It was a mistake,” he said.
The diplomat stressed that Russia is acting openly, and in the Ministry of defence of the country held regular briefings, on which all information about the action in Syria. He urged journalists to monitor closely these briefings and unbiased coverage.
Russia is preparing ideas for truce
Russia’s permanent representative said that during the scheduled for February 11th meeting of the International support group Syria in Munich Russia is going to introduce new ideas concerning the settlement of the conflict between Damascus and the opposition, including the armistice.
Churkin: Russia will present on February 11 in Munich proposals about the ceasefire regime
“We are preparing some ideas about how to push the process, including issues related to the ceasefire regime”, – he said.
2241 pursuant to resolution of the security Council, the ceasefire in Syria should enter into force, as only Damascus and the opposition will begin to implement a political transition. Meanwhile, in recent weeks, an immediate cease-fire put forward by the opposition and its backers as a pre-condition for starting negotiations with the Syrian government.