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Hammond’s criticism of Moscow and Tehran "purely propagandistic" — Russian lawmaker

February 02, 2016, 15:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

UK Foreign Secretary Hammond accused Russia of giving "the regime another gasp of life" and thus prolonging the conflict in Syria

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UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond


MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Statements of UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond about Russian and Iranian role in the Syrian peace process are purely propagandistic, Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov said on Tuesday.

"I would not look for any depth in these assessments here as they are purely opportunistic and propagandistic, what is the point of commenting on them," Pushkov said.

Hammond’s criticism, on the one hand, demonstrates West’s extreme dissatisfaction with developments in Syria, and on the other hand, is connected with the fact that Western partners lost control over these developments, the lawmaker noted.

"It is absolutely impossible to rely on London’s assessments when you are considering the intentions of Russia, Iran or any other country in the region because we are talking not about an objective assessment but rather about a purely politically propagandistic assessment which is meant to demonstrate the annoyance of several Western countries over the development they were not able to control," he added.

UK Foreign Secretary Hammond told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday: "The Russians have given the regime another gasp of life and that is bad news for everyone, and they will hold responsibility for prolonging this conflict. It’s a constant source of grief to me that everything we are doing is being undermined by the Russians." "The Russians say let's talk, and then they talk and they talk and they talk. The problem with the Russians is while they are talking they are bombing, and they are supporting Assad," he added.

When asked about the role of Russia and Iran in the Syrian settlement process, the UK foreign secretary said: "The Russians and the Iranians are working hand in glove with the Syrian regime, and the Iranians are at least as hard-line as the Russians about seeking to ensure the preservation of the Syrian regime."

On 30 September 2015 Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to launch a military operation in Syria against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces delivered first targeted airstrikes at militants’ positions on the same day. Since the start of the operation, Russian aviation made hundreds of sorties, destroyed dozens of ammunition depots, explosives production plants and command posts.

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