MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The calls on Russia to distance itself from Syrian President Bashar Assad are short-sighted and absurd as they disregard the need to fight against terrorism and political settlement in Syria, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russia considers that its key goals are the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group and a search for political and diplomatic settlement in Syria, Peskov said. "We believe that posing a question on the need to distance from Assad, without mentioning two major goals, are short-sighted," he said.
Peskov noted that Assad is a legitimate leader from the viewpoint of the international law and is also a commander-in-chief of Syria’s army, which is fighting against international terrorists, who have occupied a major part of the country’s territory. In its turn, Russia supports Damascus in this fight.
"That’s why posing a question that Russia should stop supporting Assad and therefore stop backing his efforts in the fight against ISIL (former name of the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia) sound in a rather absurd way as de facto this is probably relevant to the calls to stop assistance and play into the hands of terrorists so that they could continue offensive against the legitimate authorities of Syria," he said.
The Kremlin spokesman also suggested paying attention to the statement of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that there isn’t any need to call on someone to make a choice and to be at the crossroads, and this is futile.
Dmitry Peskov has dismissed the latest charges Moscow allegedly tried to cover up Damascus complicity in the Idlib chemical incident as "information mess."
"This is nothing but ‘information mess’. Regrettably it happens ever more frequently," he told the media about the charges being heard from the US.
Such groundless charges, Peskov said, "by no means make information flows more convincing and trustworthy." The Kremlin is curious where such information comes from and what "ephemeral intelligence sources" are behind it.
Peskov recalled that Russia was the sole country that had urged impartial international investigation of all circumstances of the use of chemical weapons in Idlib province "instead of groundlessly labelling this or that side."