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Russia not rejecting prospect of joint strikes with US on terrorists in Syria — diplomat

May 27, 11:15 UTC+3
According to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, Russia hasn't given up on suppressing gunmen of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group despite a temporary suspension of airstrikes
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A Russian warplane in Syria (archive)

A Russian warplane in Syria (archive)

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. Russia is not removing from agenda the prospect of possible joint airstrikes with the United States on terrorists in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday.

"We have not rejected this prospect," the high-ranking diplomat said. "From the very beginning we said that May 25 is not an ultimatum date, this time was set judging from operative situation that was seen in a whole number of areas in Syria, first of all in Aleppo," he said.

Over the past days, certain extensions of silence regimes in a number of areas in Syria have been agreed, he said. "One cannot say that the situation has calmed down, but a decrease in military clashes is seen in some areas of Syria, although not everywhere."

"Therefore, in the interests of advancing the process towards stabilization, certain actions of Russia’s Aerospace Forces on suppressing gunmen of Jabhat al-Nusra [terrorist organization banned in Russia] were somehow delayed but we have not rejected this prospect, we have not given it up," Ryabkov said.

He said this was done upon mutual agreement of the military "as part of working contacts held on an everyday basis in Geneva and the working group and directly via channels between the reconciliation center in Hmeimim and the US representatives."

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday it postponed delivering airstrikes on the positions of gunmen in Syria to allow a number of armed groups to complete their separation from Jabhat al-Nusra.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier suggested that the United States and the international coalition should jointly deliver airstrikes on terrorists in Syria from May 25. He said Russia has the right to unilaterally carry out strikes on terrorists who have not joined the ceasefire in Syria.

West keeps pressure on Assad accusing Syria of breaching chemical weapons convention

Sergey Ryabkov has also noted that the West continues its pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad by alleging that Damascus violates the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The West continues pressure on the government of Bashar Assad with the goal of discrediting him by making unfounded accusations of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention," Ryabkov said.

Moscow will not allow Washington’s destructive policy against Damascus to prevail, he stressed. Meanwhile, Russia efforts on calling for adopting tough measures amid the growing threat of international chemical terrorism are blocked, he said.

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