24 October 2020
Moscow: 01:33
London: 23:33

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965 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     957 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

05.03.2018

Embassy’s Press Officer reply to a question on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Q: According to the Downing Street spokesperson, Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump “agreed that the overwhelming responsibility for the heart-breaking human suffering lay with the Syrian regime and Russia”. How does it relate to the real situation on the ground and Russia’s efforts in bringing an end to suffering of the population in Eastern Ghouta?

A: There are at least three reasons why we cannot accept these allegations.

Firstly, the UN Security Council resolution 2401 aimed at alleviating suffering of the people in Eastern Ghouta calls upon all the countries with influence in Syria, including the United Kingdom and the United States, to pressure warring sides to end the fighting.

Russia supported this resolution and, hours after its adoption, began taking practical steps in coordination with the legitimate Government of Syria to support its implementation. A daily five-hour pause has been established and a corridor has been created for the residents of Eastern Ghouta wishing to leave the area. An aid convoy carrying humanitarian supplies has entered Eastern Ghouta today.

Secondly, notwithstanding the requirements of the resolution 2401, the United Kingdom has not yet been seen as an active contributor to these efforts, apart from stirring up hysteria over Damascus and Moscow’s alleged failure to implement it. At our recent conversation in the Foreign Office on the situation in Eastern Ghouta we were told that the British side will apply pressure on the armed groups it supports in Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere. We would not like to anticipate the results of such pressure, but the shooting at Damascus continues, and the intensity of those attacks is increasing. The terrorists responded to the Russia’s daily five-hour pause proposal with fierce gunfire, hampering the safe movement of both people and humanitarian supplies. The population in Eastern Ghouta has still been held as hostages, they are not allowed to leave the territory controlled by the terrorists. Meanwhile, the actions of the Syrian forces are a legitimate response to those attacks.

It is worth making clear that we should not be expected to prevent the Syrian authorities from fighting terrorists, the very ones that have repeatedly bombarded the Russian diplomatic mission in Damascus. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has stated this repeatedly, commenting on the adopted resolution 2401.

Thirdly, as the extremists on the ground stepped up their efforts to break the truce, a staged campaign in the Western and British media continues, based on the information that comes from Nusra-affiliated structures, which cannot be seen as impartial, in particular, the White Helmets, who have been caught staging fake reports on numerous occasions. This creates a wrong picture of what is happening in Eastern Ghouta among the British people and sends a wrong signal to the armed groups in this and other areas in Syria.

We expect a more active contribution from the United Kingdom, a country with a significant impact on rebel groups on the ground. Rebels should be encouraged to join the political process rather than to continue fighting using civilians as human shields, as it is the case in Eastern Ghouta. Our British counterparts are always keen to remind us of our responsibility as the Security Council Permanent Member. Ensuring rebels stop fighting and allow passage of humanitarian aid, bringing them to the negotiation table, and redoubling efforts against terrorist groups is what that responsibility implies.




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