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Russian, Swedish foreign ministers discuss humanitarian resolution on Syria

The phone conversation was requested by Sweden
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
© Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a phone talk with Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The two foreign ministers shared views on Syrian settlement, in particular in the context of debates at the United Nations Security Council concerning the humanitarian resolution on Syria," the statement said.

The phone conversation was requested by Sweden.

Sweden and Kuwait drafted a UN resolution ordering a 30-day ceasefire across Syria. Under the resolution due to be voted at the UN Security Council, the ceasefire would exempt attacks against the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) and the groups affiliated with it. The document urges the parties to the conflict to lift the blockade of populates localities, to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in need and to evacuate the sick and wounded.

Initially, the vote was scheduled for Friday but was later postponed. Closed-door consultations failed to achieve consensus among the Security Council members on Saturday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Russia was ready to negotiate the Syria ceasefire resolution if it guaranteed that insurgents, largely in Eastern Ghouta, would keep the ceasefire and stop shelling Damascus.

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 the wounded.