MOSCOW, June 11 (Itar-Tass) - Russia does not support particular political figures in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the U.S. television channel CBS. The Russian Foreign Ministry has made public the text of the interview in English on Tuesday.
“Russia repeatedly stated that we do not support anyone in Syria. We are not weathered to any personalities” Lavrov noted. Meanwhile, Lavrov noted that Syrian President Bashar Assad “was best friend of the French, the British and other European capitals. And that's a fact of life.”
In reply to the question whether Assad should step down Lavrov noted, “This is not for me to decide, this is for the Syrian people to decide.” “And when we discuss things privately with my colleagues including those who publicly make statements which are catching eye, you know, of the viewers and creating a very simplistic picture of what is going on, when we talk to them privately, they understand fully what is going on,” the minister said. “But they say, "You must understand that very early in the conflict we said he must go. And now we cannot eat our hat," he noted “Okay, we have to choose. Either you think about your reputation because you made the wrong statement two years ago or you think about achieving real result, which would save lives,” Lavrov pointed out.
The Russian foreign minister also noted, “I believe that there are signs that war crimes have been perpetrated by so many people in Syria and that this must be investigated.” “But we have to understand our priorities,” Lavrov went on to say. “Our priority is to stop violence and to save more lives. And for this, you have to put everything else on the back burner. Everything can wait,” the minister underlined.