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Moscow ~ Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed to U.S. State Secretary John Kerry that it has never been kept secret that Russia supplies Syria with military equipment in support of its efforts in combating terrorism.

This came in Lavrov’s response to Kerry’s inquiry about Russia’s assistance to the Syrian government.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Kerry sought clarification about the Russian aid to the Syrian government in support of the latter for fighting terrorism during his latest phone call with his Russian counterpart on Saturday.


Lavrov stressed that Russia always provides such assistance to Syria and has done this before, adding that the Russian side has never before kept it secret that it provides Syria with military equipment to help in combating terrorism, according to Zakharova..

She pointed out that Lavrov discussed with Kerry the issue of boosting the effectiveness of counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East.

Lavrov, she added, reminded Kerry that Moscow had repeatedly called upon the coalition led by Washington to cooperate with the Syrian authorities under the UN auspices to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) given the fact that Syrian army is the most effective force that is facing ISIS and the other terrorist organizations on the ground.

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R E L A T E D :

2686178 08/27/2015 Maria Zakharova, Director of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry's Department for Information and Press, Speaks at a press briefing in Moscow. Vladimir Pesnya/RIA Novosti

Maria Zakharova, Director of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Department for Information and Press, Speaks at a press briefing in Moscow. Vladimir Pesnya/RIA Novosti

Russia has always supplied equipment to Syria to help fight terrorism – Foreign Ministry

Moscow has always supplied equipment to Damascus to help battle terrorists, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, adding that Moscow will continue to support the Syrian authorities.

“We have always supplied equipment to them for their struggle against terrorists,” Zakharova told New York Times, “We are supporting them, we were supporting them and we will be supporting them” in that fight.

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According to Zakharova, Russia’s proposal to resolve the conflict in war-torn Syria is “to gather all the efforts together — all the international players, all Syria’s neighbors, all members of the opposition coalition, all of those who are involved.”

However, the problem is that Western countries can’t show “one example of how they would manage the Syria story right after.”

“What is the West planning to do right after? Do they have a magic wand that will transform Syria from civil war to economic prosperity?”

Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi denied reports that Russian servicemen are fighting alongside with Syrian government forces against Islamists.

“There are no Russian forces and there is no Russian military action on Syrian territory neither by land, by sea or by air,” Zoubi told Lebanese Al-Manar TV on Tuesday.

He said reports about alleged Russian military in Syria were “concocted in Western intelligence circles.”

“All of this is to insinuate the Syrian state is weak and that the Syrian military has weakened to the point of resorting to the aid of friends in a direct manner.”

Russia doesn’t ‘appoint or dismiss foreign presidents’

Moscow is not involved in “social engineering” and it doesn’t try to “appoint or dismiss presidents” in other countries, including Syria, Zakharova said.

“We do not engage in social engineering. We do not appoint or dismiss foreign presidents ourselves, or in collusion with anyone else. This applies to Syria and other countries in the region, whose people, I’m convinced, must determine their destiny themselves.”

Some western countries “have recently demonstrated a complete loss of the ability to learn from their mistakes,” she said.

“Heavy-handed intervention in Middle Eastern affairs has led to an area of instability, forming right in Europe’s backyard.”

Zakharova pointed to the many thousands of refugees flooding into Europe from countries such as Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan. These people were “subjected to experiments in the spirit of social engineering,” she said.

Deporting Russian journos from Moldova doesn’t ‘develop constructive relations with Russia’

Restrictive actions by the Moldovan authorities against Russian journalists during anti-government protests in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau don’t help to develop relations between the two countries, believes Zakharova.

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“We have taken note of the restrictive actions taken by the Moldovan authorities against Russian journalists amidst the unprecedented protest actions in Chisinau. This looks like an intention to prevent an objective coverage of these public actions.”

She was referring to an incident Monday when Aleksey Amelyushkin, a producer from RT’s Ruptly agency, had his filming equipment seized and was deported from Moldova. Amelyushkin was stopped and questioned, first by border control officers, and then by representatives of the Moldovan prosecutor’s office.

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A film crew from the LifeNews TV channel was also denied entry to Moldova on the same day. The reporters spent nine hours in the transit area at the Chisinau airport, the channel said.

“We would like to point out that these actions run counter to the desire declared by the Moldovan authorities to develop constructive relations with Russia. They also run counter to the universally recognized right to the freedom of information,” Zakharova said.

SANA - Manar al-Frieh/H. Said
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