Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denounced as “dangerous” the stance of Western counrtiers in supporting the militants fighting government forces in Syria.
“Our Western colleagues have started dividing terrorists into ‘bad’ and ‘acceptable.’ That is very dangerous,” Lavrov said in an interview with the English-language Russia Today channel on Friday.
He reiterated that Russia would not support “regime change” in Syria and that the Syrian people should be allowed to decide their own destiny without outside agencies.
“We are not in the business of regime change,” the Russian minister insisted.
Lavrov went on to say that some states have asked Moscow to use its influence and tell Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down in return for a safe refuge.
“My answer is very simple: Why use us as a postman: If President Assad is interested, then this (plan) should be discussed with him directly,” he said.
Lavrov added that the West has missed many opportunities to end the unrest in Syria by rejecting proposals offered by Russia to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Syria crisis needs a political solution and that that Moscow wants to avoid “chaos” in the country.
“We are interested in this because this is all very close to our borders. We really would not like to see any potential changes in Syria to lead to the chaos we are witnessing in other countries of the region,” Putin stressed after an EU-Russia summit in Brussels on Friday.
The Syria crisis began in March 2011.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the insurgents are foreign nationals.
Militant groups, supported by certain Western states and their regional allies, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, have been trying to topple the Syrian government for over 20 months.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the militants of committing war crimes.