Iraqi president calls for dialogue with KurdsWorld October 18, 8:20
Clashes between police, protestors over in downtown KievWorld October 18, 5:38
No plans to turn Kapustin Yar testing range into space center — chiefScience & Space October 18, 4:14
US court turns down Russia tycoon Deripaska’s libel suit against APWorld October 18, 4:13
Russian Defense Ministry tests new missile for Iskander short-range systemMilitary & Defense October 18, 1:18
Moscow court prolongs house arrest for director Serebrennikov to Jan 19, 2018World October 18, 1:11
Rusisan tennis star Sharapova comments on her performance in VTB Kremlin CupSport October 17, 19:29
Russia blacklists almost 400 football fansSport October 17, 18:48
Window for dialogue with Ukraine still open — diplomatRussian Politics & Diplomacy October 17, 18:40
STOCHKOLM, September 21 (Itar-Tass) - In case of a strike on Syria from outside, the opposition will completely lose interest in further talks with Damascus, Russian Presidential Administration Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov told the meeting of the tenth conference of the London International Strategic Studies Institute on Saturday.
In case of foreign armed interference, the opposition that already objects to the initiative to hold a peace conference will completely lose interest in talks, expecting the United States, as in Libya, to bomb out the regime and thus lay an easy way for rebels to win, Ivanov said.
In accordance with the Russian-American initiative of May 7, 2013, Russia has gone its part of the way, receiving Damascus's consent to send its delegation to the Geneva conference. The American partners have failed to achieve the same result from the opposition. And the statements that cruise missile strikes will promote the peace process are not serious and irresponsible, Ivanov stressed.
The official called for thorough and objective investigation into all the cases of use of chemical weapons in Syria.
It is the United Nations Security Council’s prerogative to determine what party is guilty of the use of weapons of mass destruction. Much thorough work must be done to solve the problem. Russia believes in this case it is a large-scale provocation, and it will be much more difficult to establish the truth with proof. United Nations experts should return to Syria as soon as possible and continue their work to investigate cases of use of chemical weapons, including what happened in Khan al-Assal on March 19, Ivanov noted.
The Kremlin official also expressed concern over the concentration of opposition forces near Damascus. It needs no explanation to understand how many casualties, first of all among the civilian population, it may lead to. For example, the rebels have already attacked the town of Maaloula, where an ancient Christian monastery, one of the oldest, is located. People there still speak the language of Jesus -- Aramaic. Armed rebels kept from attacking it before, he noted.
The most combative force of the opposition is Jabhat al-Nusra affiliated with Al-Qaeda. In its ranks are only Islamic radicals from all over the world. These are the same people who fought against Americans and NATO in Iraq and Afghanistan, against Russians in Chechnya and against Frenchmen in Mali. "Who can fight extremists in one country and arm them in another?" the official asks with indignation.
Speaking about Russia's steps, Ivanov noted that the initiative for international control over the Syrian weapons of mass destruction with further elimination of the weapons was welcomed by most countries. "Only the Syrian opposition and, if I am not mistaken, Saudi Arabia had negative attitude to it," he said.
One should talk not about confrontation around the Syrian problem, but about efforts of partners and serious joint work, the Kremlin official said.
Of course, a peaceful diplomatic approach to settle conflicts is not easy, but there is no real alternative to it, he concluded.