Attempts to disrupt the ceasefire in Syria still continue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem on Thursday.
“Not everybody is happy about the progress that we ensured together with our Turkish and Iranian counterparts, as well as with the Syrian government and Kazakhstan, while the United States participated as an observer at the Astana talks,” Lavrov said. “Attempts are being made to disrupt the ceasefire which was agreed on Astana and welcomed by the United Nations Security Council.”
Lavrov has said that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and he agreed at their recent meeting that new missile attacks on Syria would be unacceptable.
“I would like to stress that the US missile attack on the Shayrat air base was actually a provocation,” the Russian top diplomat said. “The US Secretary of State and I thoroughly discussed the situation and agreed that this should not happen again,” Lavrov added.
Western hysteria over alleged chemical attack should not hamper efforts to solve the crisis, he added. “Against the background of the western hysteria, it is particularly important to resist provocations and attempts to hamper efforts aimed at solving solve the crisis that are being made by participants in the Astana and Geneva processes,” he said.
Russia believes that Damascus made a right decision to invite experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate into the Idlib incident.
“This draft resolution was not adopted by the UN Security Council, as we prevented it,” Lavrov said. “We will insist that a decision be made on conducting an impartial investigation both at the attack site and the air base that was mentioned before. I believe it was a right and responsible step on the part of the Syrian government to invite the OPCW experts to conduct an investigation.”