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Russian Foreign Ministry sees lack of objectivity in Ban Ki-moon’s accusations

February 08, 21:35 UTC+3
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed Russia for stalling the Syria peace talks
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

© EPA/ENNIO LEANZA

MOSCOW, February 8 /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has described as non-objective the allegations of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who blamed Russia for stalling the Syria peace talks.

At a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Munich, Russia will firmly adhere to the idea of full implementation of all resolutions of the UN Security Council on Syria, Zakharova has said.

"We wish to see the Geneva talks based on the need for the full implementation of all provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254," she said. "We will follow the same policy at the meeting of the International Syria Support Group meeting, due in Syria on February 11. We expect all of its participants to make impartial judgements and take a constructive stance. "

"A number of foreign media outlets has launched a campaign to distort Russia’s role in the Syrian settlement, including a military operation carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, which is allegedly causing huge civilian casualties. It was noted that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had been, voluntarily or involuntarily, involved in that campaign," Zakharova went on to say.

"In his speech at the Syria Donor Conference in London and in his recent interview with the Financial Times, he practically blamed Russia for stalling the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva and the worsening humanitarian situation in that country," Zakharova said.

"We have always thought that commentaries issued by the world organization’s chief administrative official in accordance with his status should always be objective and impartial. That did not happen this time," the Russian diplomat noted.

Ban Ki-moon urged the London Donor Conference last week to use the current pause in the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva for returning to the negotiating table rather than for taking up new positions on the battlefield.

Ban Ki-moon believed that the talks, which UN Special Envoy on Syria had tried to launch in Geneva since January 29, were undermined by sudden intensification of air strikes on Syria and the ongoing absence of humanitarian access to the war-stricken Syrian population.

A group of Russian experts who gathered for a roundtable meeting on Monday to discuss the unsuccessful start of the Syria peace talks said that the inter-Syrian negotiations were unlikely to succeed so long as the Syrian army had not gained victory on the ground.

"Victory on the ground, which I believe will occur in the next few months, is necessary to ensure the success of the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva," Vladimir Yevseyev, the head of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) department of the Institute of CIS Studies, said.

"That is why I do not believe that a compromise is possible on February 25 because so far there are no conditions for the Syrian national army to gain a convincing victory," Yevseyev said.

"It is necessary to go ahead with the talks in the course of these months at least for the purpose of formulating a common stance, which will allow the sides to reach a compromise," the expert concluded.

Another participant in the roundtable meeting, Amur Gadzhiyev, research associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies, said, in turn, that all the parties in the Syrian conflict wanted to settle [the crisis] as soon as possible.

"However, each of the parties in conflict keeps believing that it [the conflict] will be resolved in its favor and on its terms," Gadzhiyev explained.

He believes that the Syrian army’s success in cutting off the main supply routes for the militants in the north of the Syrian province of Aleppo was one of the root causes behind the poor start of the inter-Syrian talks.

"The Syrian opposition, which fears that the retreat on the front might result in significant concessions at the talks, decided for itself [an on advice from international sponsors] that it was not the best time to continue the talks. This, in my view, is one of the main reasons for the abortive start of the Geneva negotiations," Gadzhiyev said.

The inter-Syrian negotiations, which began in Geneva in the first days of February, were suspended days later until February 25. UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the sides had focused on discussing procedural issues rather than on the solution of concrete tasks.

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