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Russian lawmaker notes pressure on ceasefire in Syria from those opposed to it

February 29, 2016, 18:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Konstantin Kosachev has urged Turkey and Saudi Arabia to stop "direct or indirect support to certain forces inside Syria"

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. The ceasefire agreement in Syria is working, but it will be subjected to pressure from those who are opposed to it, head of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council upper house of parliament Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday, commenting on the situation in Syria after the UN Security Council’s ceasefire resolution came into force.

"As of today, the ceasefire as an idea, as a concept, has begun to work, and the international community’s consolidated position in support of this concept is very important now," the official said. He added that the Russian side expects "a more clear-cut and decisive position from the United States and its allies on the so-called anti-terrorist coalition", as well as the same stance from Syria’s neighbors.

At the same time, according to Kosachev, the armistice "is not absolute". "There is no doubt that it will be under constant pressure from those who are opposed to this ceasefire", he said. "Almost 100 organizations, groups that represent the so-called moderate opposition" have joined the ceasefire regime, the parliamentarian said, however, "the number of these organizations considerably exceeds 100 and some of them continue to sabotage the implementation of these agreements, which is already happening before our eyes". "But these incidents are local and limited," he said.

He also said that Turkey and Saudi Arabia, "which in the old days were willing to provide direct or indirect support to certain forces inside Syria," should now stop this support because the Russian-US initiative after the UN Security Council’s vote "is mandatory for all states neighboring Syria." "And if this support continues, these countries will go beyond the resolution’s framework and their actions will contradict the UN Security Council decisions with all the ensuing consequences," the head of the Federation Council committee said.

The ceasefire regime between the Syrian government forces and armed opposition groups came into force from 00:00 (01:00, Moscow time) on February 27. Ceasefire is not applicable to terrorist groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support of cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council. United Nations Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, told a briefing after the United Nations Security Council meeting that 97 armed groups in Syria had accepted the ceasefire terms.

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