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Russia ready to vote for Syria ceasefire resolution at UN but guarantees needed

February 23, 2018, 22:40 UTC+3

Lavrov pointed out that the guarantees should be substantiated by those who have an influence on extremist groups holed up in that area outside Damascus

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. Russia is ready to vote at the United Nations Security Council in favor of the resolution on a humanitarian pause in Syria but there are no guarantees that militants will observe the ceasefire, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

Lavrov pointed out that the UN Security Council "is attempting to pass a resolution declaring a 30-day humanitarian pause should be established immediately."

"At the same time, there is no answer to the question ‘Where is the guarantee that militants will hold that humanitarian pause and that they will not shell Damascus’ residential areas?’," he said. "There have been no guarantees provided."

"For the resolution to be effective, and we are ready to negotiate such a text, we have put forward a principle that will enable the ceasefire to become real and based on guarantees of all those inside Eastern Ghouta and beyond Eastern Ghouta," he added.

The Russian foreign minister pointed out that the guarantees "should be substantiated by external players’ assurances and first of all by those who have an influence on extremist groups holed up in that area outside Damascus."

"Therefore, unless Americans and their allies are driven by a desire to cloud the atmosphere and create additional excuses to push their idea of ousting the regime in Syria, but if they are driven by concern over the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta, there is every opportunity for the agreement to be achieved," Lavrov added.

"Nevertheless, they are still refusing to take the amendment which shoulders on them the responsibility for getting clearly-defined assurances from militants that shelling will stop," he said.

Eastern Ghouta, controlled by militants and besieged by Syrian government forces, is included in one of the Syrian de-escalation zones established in accordance with the May 4 decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the three guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged to halt fighting immediately in Eastern Ghouta in order to enable humanitarian deliveries and evacuation of injured civilians.

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