NUR-SULTAN, July 8. /TASS/. The West needs to end the ‘deplorable practice’ of collective punishment for the Syrian people, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said at a press conference on Thursday following the 16th international meeting on Syria in the Astana format.
"We believe the consultations that we have held here in Nur-Sultan give hope that our call on the international community [will make it possible] to move the focus from efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria in military terms to humanitarian issues and activities aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people," he pointed out. "And definitely, the deplorable practice of collective punishment for the Syrian people has to end," Lavrentyev added.
Humanitarian aid needs to be delivered through the country’s legitimate authorities, and in this regard, Russia calls for the establishment of a mechanism to deliver humanitarian aid to all parts of Syria via Damascus, the Russian presidential envoy noted. Lavrentyev stressed that Syria was the only country in the world, where "the twisted principle of cross-border operations" was in effect as far as humanitarian aid deliveries were concerned. Moscow advocates respect for international law in this matter, he added.