Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia sees the intentions of the US and the West who want to impede the Astana process for settlement of the Syrian conflict.

According to an Iran Press report, speaking to journalists in Ankara, Turkey on Tuesday, Lavrov said:  "We won’t probably see any direct linkage with the Syrian crisis in the statements made by the US side when it declares sanctions against our countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey).  But objectively, of course we feel the wish of the West, and first of all the US but not only the US, to prevent the Astana process from achieving concrete results and present it as not quite successful," he said. "These attempts were seen earlier, and most likely they will continue," the top Russian diplomat added.

Sergey Lavrov went on to stress:  "But the fact that Turkey, Russia and Iran, not always see eye-to-eye of course, and sometimes far from agreeing on this or that aspect of the Syrian crisis, have found wisdom and willingness to settle concrete problems, has reversed the situation in Syria.  Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) has been practically defeated with only some isolated small groups remaining. The main target for the present moment is Jabhat al-Nusra (also outlawed in Russia)," he added.

The statement of UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the dangers of their return to Syria shows lack of awareness, Lavrov said.  He added:  "It was strange to hear the statement of the UN high commissioner for refugees, if it was stated correctly, that, in his opinion, the return of refugees to Syria is premature at the present moment, because it is still dangerous there. It’s just a lack of awareness, if not something more serious."

Lavrov added:  "Presently the three countries are to target and suppress Al-Nusra Front terrorist group to put an end to the Syrian crisis."

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Aug 14, 2018 20:16 Asia/Tehran
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