MOSCOW, March 2 (Itar-Tass) — In Syria Russia defends “not the regime, but justice and the sovereign right of Syrian people to peaceful democratic choice of the government that suits them better in full compliance with the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and the international law in general,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily published on Friday.
He expressed confidence that “this goal can be reached through inclusive dialogue with participation of Syria’s all political forces and ethnic, confessional groups, while the alternative to this is “destructive civil war.”
“Russia cannot allow itself to play the hypocrite for the sake of momentary gains. We are sincerely confident that the course towards supporting one of the conflicting parties and pushing one of them to escalate confrontation brings no peace and on the contrary results in further aggravation of already explosive situations in the region and harms international stability,” Lavrov said.
“The history will certainly arrange everything in its right place,” and “Russia will have no less true friends and partners in the Arab world,” the diplomat said.
“Until the world community manages to renounce the stereotype based in many respects on Libya’s experience, it will be unable to provide effective assistance to Syrian people in overcoming the crisis,” Lavrov said. “It can be settled only through comprehensive dialogue between the authorities and opposition groups without outside interference and with respect to Syria’s sovereignty.”
Lavrov also admitted that “we have an uneasy dialogue with the United States on missile defence and Iran.” “However, it is important to continue the search for mutually advantageous decisions.”
“Russia-U.S. relations go beyond the settlement of regional crises or reduction of nuclear arsenals,” he said. “We and our U.S. counterparts are interested in maintaining positive development of bilateral relations and promoting joint efforts on a wide range of issues on the international agenda, including the Middle East settlement, Afghanistan, Central Asia, multiple processes in the Asia-Pacific Region and others.”
At the same time the Russian diplomat warned of conducting talks with Russia through reprimanding and preaching morality. The times for speaking in that language “had passed.” “Our U.S. partners realize this quite well, but inertness of former approaches and stereotypes in Washington is still felt,” Lavrov said.