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Moscow says violations of ceasefire in Syria put Russian-US agreements at risk

The Russian side has called for the soonest launch of intra-Syrian talks

MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. Numerous provocations from Syria’s opposition forces and violations of the regime of cessation of activities in that country are fraught with a breakdown of the Russian-U.S. agreements, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday after a meeting between Russian president’s envoy for the Middle East and African countries and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Syria’s Ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad.

"The sides stressed the pressing necessity to observe the regime of cessation of hostilities by opposition armed groups which are indulging in provocations and violations of the ceasefire regime and thus putting the Russian-U.S agreements at a risk of failure," the ministry said.

Apart from that, "the sides discussed the development of the military political situation in and around Syria with a focus on the implementation of the Russian-U.S. agreements of September 9 on reducing the level of violence in that country and consolidation of efforts to combat and exterminate terrorist threat," the ministry said.

The Russian side called for the soonest launch of intra-Syrian talks. "The Russian side reiterated Moscow’s commitment to the principles of the settlement of the Syrian crisis by means of the soonest launch of the negotiating process between delegations of the Syrian government and the oppositions without preliminary conditions on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolution 2254 and resolutions of the International Syria Support Group," the ministry said, adding that the meeting was initiated by the Syrian side.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who held thirteen-hours-long talks in Geneva on September 10, coordinated a package of five documents called upon to bring about ceasefire in Syria and to lay down the foundations of a resumption of the political process. The documents feature the separation of the armed opposition and terrorists and envision the delivery of joint Russian-U.S. airstrikes. They also specify a procedure for reacting to violations of the ceasefire and some aspects of delivery of humanitarian aid millions of people are wanting badly.

The cessation of hostilities regime came into effect from 19:00 Moscow time on September 12. On September 14, the ceasefire was extended for 48 hours more. However, according to the Russian defense ministry, the ceasefire regime has been violated more than once over these days. As a result, 63 civilians were killed and 252 more were wounded. Losses among Syrian government forces stand at 153 servicemen.