Ceasefire is to be common for all parties to Syria conflict – Russian PM

February 15, 2016 11:31 pm 

MOSCOW, Feb. 15 — Russia has insisted on taking a common decision on when to stop combat operation in Syria, otherwise it can only aggravate the conflict, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Euronews on Sunday.

"Decisions on ending combat operations depend on whether the parties involved are willing to lay down arms and how fast," he said. "In fact, when one group stops fighting, while the other begins to build on its military success, this is the most dangerous situation."

"All it does is escalate the conflict. It is for that reason that there should be a common decision on when to stop military action. This should be our objective," he stressed.

Russia, according to the prime minister, will act in line with the existing agreements with President al-Assad, on the one hand, and with "the agreements that we are currently trying to reach with other countries, on the other hand, including with our negotiating partners, that is the United States and other countries."

Medvedev reminded that on February 4 Russia came forward with an initiative of general ceasefire in Syria. "There was some hesitation among our US colleagues. They discussed this issue in many ways, they had to overcome the persistent disagreements between the Department of State and the Department of Defense, appealed to Barack Obama, and seem to have come to an agreement in the end. Let’s hope that there will be no delays from now on," he said.

"This will be the starting point for Russia," he underscored. "The final decision rests with the President of Russia [Vladimir Putin], who is the Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces."

The International Syria Support Group comprised of about 20 countries and organizations that met in Munich on February 11 agreed to ensure a ceasefire in Syria within a week and to deliver relief aid to that country torn by a civil war in the past five year. Also in Munich, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a meeting on February 13 to discuss concrete steps to be done to implement the agreements reached previously.

The ceasefire will not be applicable to air strikes against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups and their affiliates recognized by the United Nations Security Council as terrorist. (PNA/TASS)



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