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Russia opposes efforts to break up Syria, or keep foreign forces on its soil — Lavrov

Lavrov has said he heard nothing about Austria’s proposals to act as a mediator between Russia and Western countries on the Syrian issue

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Russia won’t accept attempts of dismembering Syria and creating there a permanent presence of foreign forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"There is Resolution 2254 [of the UN Security Council] under which Syria should be united and undivided, and the political process should enable Syrians to define their fate without foreign interference," Lavrov noted. "All our steps are aimed at achieving this result."

"We won’t accept those attempts to ruin Syria, which we see, and create there the presence of non-regional forces forever. This runs counter to those agreements in question," Lavrov stressed, warning against violating the principles endorsed by the UN Security Council. "No concessions can be discussed here."

The Syrian conflict should be resolved based on the UN Security Council’s resolutions and in the framework of a political process led by Syrian citizens, Lavrov noted.

On January 29-30, Sochi hosted the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. The participants adopted a 12-point statement outlining their positions on the country’s future. The document stipulates that Syria should maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity, at the same time pointing out that the Syrian people hold the prerogative to determine the country’s future through elections.