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There is progress in humanitarian access in Syria - Lavrov

May 03, 2016, 19:26 UTC+3

"But it is necessary to do much more", Russian Foreign Minister said after a meeting with the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy on Syria

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Staffan de Mistura and Sergey Lavrov

Staffan de Mistura and Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Sherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, May 3. /TASS/. There is progress in the issue of humanitarian access to blocked regions in Syria, but it is necessary to do much more, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday after a meeting with the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura.

"We have in detail discussed the tasks facing us in the humanitarian sphere, issues connected with expansion of humanitarian access to various blocked regions of Syria," Lavrov said. "There’s also headway here, but it is clear that much more is needed."

"We realize the necessity to work both with the opposition and with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, for us to see here more positive changes," the minister underscored.

The conflict in Syria has lasted since March 2011. Earlier in April, the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said the hostilities in the country have left 400,000 people dead. Later he specified that it was his personal assessment. Up until now, the UN has named the death count of over 250,000 in Syria.

The ceasefire regime took effect in Syria on February 27. Shortly before, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting a cessation of hostilities. The document drafted by Russia and the United States was backed by all 15 Security Council member states.

The ceasefire regime does not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations as well as other groups ruled terrorist by the Security Council.

Russia takes an active part in the Syrian settlement effort. It helps Syria's authorities fight terrorists and has conducted mine clearing work in the ancient city of Palmyra.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start, from March 15, withdrawing the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group from Syria. Putin said the tasks set before the military "have been fulfilled on the whole." Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said strikes on terrorists will continue to be delivered.

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