Russia disagrees with West on Syrian crisis solutions: Lavrov


Moscow: Though everyone wants to see a Syria free of turmoil, Russia and Western countries have different views on how to solve the prolonged crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

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During a meeting with students from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Lavrov said the Western approach of demanding external interference and the resignation of President Bashar Al Assad as a precondition of negotiations was rather “unrealistic”.

“We don’t have divergence on what should happen in Syria,” said Lavrov, adding that people want to see a free, stable, independent and democratic state in Syria where the rights of all citizens are preserved.

“But on how to realise this goal, we have rather serious disagreements,” said Lavrov, adding some Western colleagues and countries in the region called for outside intervention while Russia, China and other countries urged an immediate start of political negotiations involving all sides.

Making the resignation of Assad as a precondition of political settlement was unrealistic, as unilateral ceasefire during the conflicts would not lead to real peace or negotiations, Lavrov said.

The senior diplomat reiterated Russia’s stance, saying Moscow “was not backing any regime or any individuals” in the Syrian crisis.

Meanwhile, those “players” who spurred the opposition to fight the Syrian authorities did not care about the interests of the Syrian people but were guided by their own “geopolitical considerations”, said Lavrov.