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Russia expects patrons of opposition forces in Syria to ensure ceasefire observance

Moscow is content that the UN Security Council noted the work of Iran, Russia and Turkey on de-escalation zones in Syria
Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Japaridze/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry
© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Moscow expects that the foreign patrons of anti-government forces in Syria will ensure that these forces observe the ceasefire in that country, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement comes after the United Nations Security Council approved in a unanimous vote on Saturday Resolution 2401 demanding a 30-day ceasefire across Syria to allow aid access to the population in need.

The Russian side supported the document drafted by the delegations of Kuwait and Sweden, "being guided by the tasks of alleviating the humanitarian sufferings of civilians of the Syrian Arab Republic and considering that our basic remarks were reflected in the text after multi-day tense discussions," the statement reads.

It is principally important that efforts have succeeded in preventing the approval of the unrealistic scheme of establishing the truce and "now the document urges precisely the parties to the conflict for the quickest ceasefire…," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

"It is understandable that no ceasefire can be started by prescriptions from New York without concrete agreements between the warring Syrian sides," the statement says.

"We expect that the foreign patrons of anti-government armed formations will finally fulfil their part ‘of the home assignment’ and ensure that the forces under their patronage cease combat activity in the interests of the quickest and safe passage of humanitarian convoys," the ministry said.

"We will watch the developments closely," the ministry noted.

"Perhaps, someone did not know or ignored this deliberately but the negotiations with militants on the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta were conducted; however, they rejected all the proposed versions," the ministry said.

"Moreover, they refused to set free civilians being used as a human shield from their controlled areas and obstructed the work of humanitarian corridors," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow is content that the UN Security Council noted the work of Iran, Russia and Turkey on de-escalation zones in Syria.

Terrorists in Syria won’t get any respite from ceasefire

The fight against terrorists of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist organizations outlawed in Russia) will be continued and they won’t get any respite, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

"The resolution clearly stipulates that it does not extend to military operations against the IS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia), related and other terrorist groupings," the ministry said.

"This struggle will be continued, despite the attempts of certain external players to engage international terrorists and groups of opposition militants joining them to implement still nurtured plans to overthrow the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic and dismember the country. The terrorists won’t get any respite," the ministry’s statement reads.

"For the first time over many years, the UN Security Council has been actually able to denounce the shelling of Damascus, under which the Russian diplomatic mission came time after time and which claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and inflicted serious damage to the civil infrastructure," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Humanitarian aid should be outside politics

"It is important that the resolution calls to urgently expedite humanitarian activity related to mine clearance on the entire territory of Syria," the statement says.

"It confirms the demand to demilitarize medical establishments, schools and other civil facilities, which, as we know, groups of militants frequently occupy as their military positions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The resolution actually admits that humanitarian problems have gripped not only Eastern Ghouta and Idlib but also other regions of the country," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

"Aid should be provided in an unbiased manner and should not be conditioned by the attainment of some political goals, as is done in some Western capitals," the statement reads.

Russia to toughly oppose attempts to derail political process in Syria

Russia will toughly oppose attempts to derail the political process in Syria, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

"Agreeing to the adoption of the UN Security Council’s resolution, we will toughly cut short the attempts to additionally instigate the anti-Russian and anti-Syrian hysteria and derail the political settlement process, which took on a new life following the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

As a guarantor country of the Astana process and a responsible member of the international community, Russia "will continue working with all the Syrian sides in order to resolve the conflict as soon as possible, achieve reconciliation among those who are seeking this by deeds rather than verbally and to finally root out the terrorist threat," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.