Turkish authorities impose media ban on coverage of Istanbul explosionWorld December 11, 3:01
Erdogan says Istanbul terrorist attack causes fatalitiesWorld December 11, 2:52
Number of wounded in Istanbul explosion rises to 70 — TV channelWorld December 11, 2:38
Three settlements in Syria join cessation of hostilities — Russia’s Defense MinistryWorld December 11, 2:34
TV: Islamic State re-enters ancient city of PalmyraWorld December 10, 21:20
Saudi minister says Russia led consultations process with OPECBusiness & Economy December 10, 20:41
UK foreign secretary says protection of civilians should be 'top priority' in SyriaWorld December 10, 20:31
Non-OPEC states join historic oil cut dealBusiness & Economy December 10, 20:23
Russian diplomat urges Western reporters to be unbiased in war news coverageRussian Politics & Diplomacy December 10, 20:08
MOSCOW, February 10./TASS/. Russia proceeds from the premise that Iran and Saudi Arabia will take part in the meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Munich on February 11, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Wednesday.
She said questions on details of "who and how will represent different countries" should be referred to these countries. "We proceed from the fact that the format has been determined. We had no information about changes to this format," the diplomat went on.
"The format of the International Syria Support Group implies the participants who took part in previous meetings," Zakharova said, noting that no changes in the format had been envisaged.
"We were seeking to see the players the development of the situation depends on represented in full," she said.
According to Zakharova, the US-led coalition has no coordinated strategy in Syria.
"Over the last four years we see how the approach to the Syrian settlement is constantly changing," Zakharova said. "New plans are announced every year, every six months. There should be a strategy, a goal, there should be understanding of one’s own actions. For now these actions remind hysterical chaotic movements that pursue only one aim - to act somehow but no one knows how exactly," she added.
Talking about the plans of Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to start a ground operation in Syria and deploy a 150,000-strong contingent in the country, Zakharova noted that the goal of this operation is not clear adding that it is necessary to observe international law in any case.
"We should not forget that we are talking about a sovereign state. If issues of sovereignty are so carefully treated on some continents, it would also be good to apply the same basic principles toward Syrian sovereignty," the diplomat noted. "In our opinion based on respect to universally recognized norms, deployment of any forces anywhere should be coordinated with the relevant country, no matter what good intentions are used as an explanation," she added.
"Why are they doing this? To fight terrorism? Then they should announce that the coalition is starting a new phase of fight against terrorism. But we see that statements are made not on behalf of the coalition but on behalf of separate countries. What is this? Independent action? The end of the coalition? Is this done in parallel with coalition’s actions or represents an attempt to set up one more coalition? They should explain this," Zakharova noted.
One should also take into account international political aims that some countries may pursue following the US example where "international affairs is an attempt to collect more points at home."
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that in a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry said it was necessary to seek an early ceasefire and humanitarian access in Syria.
"The Syrian settlement was in the focus of attention in connection with an upcoming session of the International Syria Support Group, due in Munich on February 11," the ministry said. "The interlocutors shared opinion of a need to achieve an early ceasefire and ensure humanitarian access to all blocked settlements, and also considered a possibility to coordinate respective agreements within the context of implementation of Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council," it said.