MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. Russia is ready to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria with Western countries if they recognize the existence of real problems in that country and their responsibility for that, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday after talks with OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid.
"If the set of these factors is recognized as impacting the humanitarian situation in Syria, we are ready to discuss that as a whole. But our Western partners should categorically refuse from one-sided interpretations of these or those problems, and recognize their responsibility for the general situation in Syria’s humanitarian sphere," he stressed.
The minister noted that the situation in Syria’s Idlib governorate is still difficult "despite the active efforts of the Turkish colleagues, with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia), which is holding hostage a lot of civilians, playing a crucial role". Today, Idlib is the only locality in Syria, where humanitarian assistance is delivered from outside without the government’s participation, he said, adding that this complicated humanitarian deliveries. He pointed to the fact that both the United Nations and Western countries keep on ignoring the Syrian government’s statements on readiness to help deliver relief aid via Damascus.
Moreover, he stressed that the humanitarian situation in Syria is aggravated by the US sanctions and illegal occupation of the Euphrates east bank by American forces. "They are looting hydrocarbons and other mineral resources, and use the money they earn on that to finance projects that are seen by many as encouraging separatism and provoking dissolution of the Syrian state," Lavrov stressed.
He also drew attention to the fact that some European nations and the United States are seeking to hamper the return of Syrian refugees. "The entire assistance the West is raising, and it is doing that without Damascus’ participation in violation of the UN rules, is never used to help refugees return home, to ensure elementary conditions and services for them - education, energy and water supplies. It goes to refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon and is obviously meant to make the refugees stay there as long as possible," he added.