“We need everyone to work honestly and not allow double standards – backing the conference in statements and taking steps actually aimed at undermining this suggestion in practice, ” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.
“The US - Russian initiative for a comprehensive peace conference to resolve the Syrian crisis needs honest effort of those involved, but some nations apparently try to undermine the effort to call the meeting, ” Lavrov said.
Speaking on an anti - Syria draft resolution currently discussed at the UN Human Rights Council, Lavrov said, “To my great astonishment we have learned that in addition to the sponsors of this draft resolution the US delegation is promoting most vigorously this very unhelpful idea”.
The document sponsored by Syria ' s foes, Qatar and Turkey, seeks to condemn the Syrian government for on the accusations of using mercenaries against militants and terrorist groups.
Lavrov said that Russia currently sees no alternative to the peace conference, which would hopefully gather all interested parties, including the Syrian government, various Syrian opposition groups, regional powers like Iran and other. “But doing it requires a genuine joint effort, ” Lavrov said.
Russia and the US have diverged in their position over the end of EU’s embargo on delivery of arms to Syria this week, which will open the door for direct arming of militant groups by European nations. Washington praised the development, saying it gives Europe more flexibility and ramps up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Moscow sees it as not only counterproductive, but also potentially unlawful, since delivering arms to non - governmental actors against the wishes of a country’s government breaks international law.
Such moves are forbidden both by UN - level treaties on arms trade and EU’s own guidelines.