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Kremlin concerned with growing tensions on Syrian-Turkish border

February 20, 2016, 13:17 UTC+3

Vladimir Putin's press secretary refused to comment on whether a conflict between Russia and Turkey is possible over Ankara’s actions

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Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Moscow is concerned about growing tensions on the Syrian-Turkish border and view Turkey’s strikes at Syrian territory as unacceptable, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Satursday.

"The Kremlin is concerned about growing tensions on the Syrian-Turkish border," Peskov said commenting on Ankara’s strikes at Kurdish positions in Syria’s north. He reminded that this topic was not discussed at yesterday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Security Council permanent members. "In general, of course, Russia views such trans-border strikes by Turkish artillery and artillery strikes at the Syrian territory as unacceptable," he added.

He refused to comment on whether a conflict between Russia and Turkey is possible over Ankara’s actions.

Kremlin regrets UN SC’s failure to pass Russian draft resolution on Syria 

The Kremlin has voiced regret over the fact that the UN Security Council did not pass the Russian draft resolution on Syria.

"In this case, we can only express our regret over the fact that this draft resolution was not supported," Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

According to him, "Russia, of course, pushes ahead with its consistent, transparent and understandable policy aimed at ensuring stability, combating terrorism and preserving the territorial integrity of the countries in the region."

The UN Security Council on Friday held the first discussion of Russia-initiated draft resolution in favor of Syria’s sovereignty. It was a response to Ankara’s plans to send ground troops to the territory of the neighboring country. The one-page draft resolution makes no mention of Turkey but condemns "the ongoing shelling of Syria’s territory" and "the incessant flow of foreign terrorists and illegal arms supplies" carried out in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and "with the connivance or direct involvement of some states," including Syria’s neighbors.

The document "strongly demands that Syria’s sovereignty is fully respected and any cross-border artillery bombardments and intervention be stopped." It also points to the need "to abandon all attempts or plans of foreign military intervention into Syrian territory."

The UK, the United States and France who are permanent UN Security Council members with veto power have expressed their sharply negative attitude towards Russia’s initiative. According to diplomatic sources, three non-permanent Security Council members, including Ukraine, spoke out against passing the draft resolution.

Following closed-door meeting that lasted slightly more than an hour current Security Council President Venezuelan diplomat Rafael Ramirez said no agreement on the Russian draft resolution had been reached. According to him, Security Council members took a break until Monday. "We discussed the draft resolution proposed by Russia. Each country outlined its national stance. We have time until Monday to hear a response to this resolution and we will see what happens. We spent a lot of time discussing it but reached no consensus," the diplomat said.

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