Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
9th February, 2016
Russia has proposed a plan to the U.S for a ceasefire in Syria. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, spoke about this in an interview for the newspaper "Moskovskij Komsomolets".
"We are in contact with Washington and have proposed a very specific plan, which they are now looking over", — said the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry. He noted that he could not disclose specific details, however, this plan does not imply the immediate resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as advocated by the U.S. and its allies in the region. The Minister said that he hoped for a speedy consideration of the plan by Washington, as the sentences are phrased in a simple manner.
In addition to information about the plan for a ceasefire, Lavrov also touched on the issue of Syrian peace talks. According to him, Russia is doing everything necessary for the implementation of resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council, and is facilitating the negotiation process.
Consultations on the settlement of the Syrian conflict in Geneva were suspended until 25th February. "The UN cannot afford to let procedural issues become more important than the resolution of the humanitarian problems of the Syrian people. So we decided to make a temporary pause. It's not the end of the negotiations," said the UN special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura.
The confrontation between Assad and his opponents, who demanded his resignation in 2011, escalated into a full scale civil war. The rebels consider the President guilty of the hard repression of the initially peaceful protests and the use of armed force against unarmed demonstrators during the first phase of the internal conflict.
The civil war in Syria has already led to the deaths of more than 250,000 people, and the mass exodus of refugees from the country. During the conflict, the terrorist group "Islamic State" (IS) gained strength. From 30th September 2015, Russian aviation has supported Assad. An international coalition of over 60 States have used air strikes to support Kurdish forces fighting on the ground against ISIS.