Lavrov: Russia will not "kick" the US military out of Syria

18 January


Russia will not "kick out" the US military from Syria and fight with them, but is engaged in a dialogue with the United States, seeking to comply with certain rules, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday at a press conference on the results of Russia's diplomacy in 2020, commenting on US restrictions on Syria at the same time as the presence of the US military on the territory of that country.

"Yes, we have contacts with the United States through the military - not because we recognize the legitimacy of their presence there, but simply because they have to act within certain limits," the minister said. - "We can't force them out of there, we won't fight with them, of course. But since they are there, we have a dialogue with them in what is known as deconfliction, and we make sure that certain rules are observed".

Lavrov pointed out that Russia says that "the use of force against objects that are objects of the Syrian state" is unacceptable. He also recalled that UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which demands respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Syrian Arab Republic, was adopted unanimously.

"And what the United States is doing in Syria, of course, is a flagrant violation of this resolution," the Russian Foreign Minister said. - "The United States' policy of blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Syrian Arab Republic by all possible means of blackmail and ultimatums is also a flagrant violation of this resolution".

The Minister drew attention to the fact that the resolution requires the provision of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people. "The United States is doing everything to prevent this from happening," he added. - "They announced the harshest sanctions, the notorious Caesar's Act." As another example, Lavrov cited the banning of international organizations, among others, from a conference on refugee return that took place last November in Damascus. "About 20 countries nevertheless participated in it, including five Arab countries that were above this fear of the American hegemon," he noted.

At that the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed out that while the US prohibits everyone to send even humanitarian aid to Syria, "it has itself occupied considerable territories on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, exploited mercilessly the hydrocarbon resources of Syria and the Syrian national wealth, plundered and sold them and used the money to keep its proxies, including Kurdish separatists, dissuading the Kurds from a dialogue with Damascus and encouraging separatist moods." "This, of course, causes great problems in Turkey as well, as you know. But the most important thing is that this is happening on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, where no one invited the Americans and their allies, Western allies," Lavrov stressed.

Israel-Syria relations

Russia calls on Israel to provide facts showing a threat to that country from Syria, Lavrov said. "If Israel, as they say, has to respond to threats to its Israeli security that come from Syrian territory, we have said to our Israeli colleagues many times: if you see such threats, please pass us the relevant information," he noted. "Russia absolutely does not want Syrian territory to be used against Israel, or Syrian territory to be used as an arena for Iranian-Israeli confrontation, as many would like it to be".

Lavrov stressed that Moscow is ready to take all measures to eliminate threats to Israel's security from Syrian territory, if any. "So far we have not received a specific response to such an appeal, but we continue to insist," he said.

The Foreign Minister added that Russia is tough on the need to comply with the UN Security Council resolution on Lebanon, which is being violated by Israelis using Syrian airspace to strike Lebanese targets. "This is a serious issue in our relations," he noted.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on materials from TASS