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Moscow Strongly Criticizes EU Decision to Lift Embargo on Weapon Export to Gunmen
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the EU decision to extend sanctions on Syria and lift the embargo on the weapons sent to the Syrian opposition could push the conflict in Syria to more of armed confrontations.

"At this complicated and important stage related to the implementation of the Russian-US initiative, it is very important to abstain from any measures or statements which would be misunderstood by the Syrian sides," Alexander Lukashevich, Spokesman of the Russian foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

He added "we can't understand the logic of the EU decision to expand the economic siege against the Syrian people for an extra 12-month, while excluding the weapons sent to the Syrian opposition."

Lavrov: Behaviors of some sides seek to foil Concept of Conference

For his part, Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that some behaviors adopted with the participation of western states seek to foil the initiative of holding the international conference on Syria.

"We have raised the attention to a group of behaviors adopted with the support of western colleagues, including the US and France, which seek willingly or unwillingly to foil the concept of the international conference on Syria," Lavrov said in a statement in Paris.

He described the latest decision adopted by the UN General Assembly on Syria as unfair, saying that such a decision is being imposed in the framework of the Human rights council of the UN.

"The EU decision to abstain from extending ban on exporting weapons to the Syrian opposition is illegal… this decision is very contradicting as exporting weapons to non-governmental sides is prohibited in light of the international law," Lavrov said.

He underlined that Iran is one of the most important states which should participate in the conference on Syria.

Gatilov: EU Decision Won't Find Positive Basis for Conference
In a relevant context, The Ministry called on all foreign active sides, including the EU to enjoy the spirit of responsibility and prevent from taking steps that might complicate launching dialogue between the government and opposition in Syria.

"The EU decision to lift the siege on exporting weapons to the Syrian insurgents won't really create a positive basis for the efforts exerted to organize an international conference on Syria," Gennady Gatilov, Deputy Foreign Minister said in a press statement.

Russian President Advisor: the Decision Wouldn't Contribute to Preparing for the Conference

Meanwhile, Media Advisor to the Russian President Dmitry Peskov affirmed that the EU decision won't contribute to preparing for the international conference on Syria due to be held in Geneva next month.

"Such steps and other similar ones like the latest visit of the US Senator John McCain the border regions wouldn't contribute in any case to preparing for the international conference for which a lot of sides seek to fulfill," Peskov said in a statement from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

He added that such behavior couldn't be understood.

Ryabkov: Main Obstacles Facing Int'l Conference is the Syrian Opposition's Disunity


Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov expressed his country's disappointment over the decision of the European Union to lift the embargo imposed on sending weapons to Syria, stressing that this decision will negatively affect the international conference on Syria.

At a press conference today, Ryabkov added that this decision opposes the policies of the EU itself and does not help in reaching a political settlement, highlighting that this decision violates the international arms trade treaty.

He said that no one can blame Russia for sending weapons to Syria, adding that these weapons are bound to the legal authorities in the country.

"Russia considers the EU decision to lift the embargo on sending weapons to the armed opposition as wrong," said Ryabkov, stressing that it is not acceptable to seek an end of violence in Syria on the one hand and follow the path of escalating the issue of weapons flow to the country on the other hand.

The Russian official pointed out that the basic issue that hinders the international conference on Syria is the disunity of the "Syrian opposition" and its inability to dispatch high-level representatives to the conference.

He added that "The Syrian government is resolved to send a delegation with full powers to hold negotiations at this potential conference…The Opposition should also name its representatives that are entitled to participate."

He considered that Russia and the US have not yet been able to bring close their positions on holding "Geneva 2" conference, saying that "Moscow does not accept holding this conference at the time when some potential participants are trying to impose external solutions on the Syrian people."

"We can't say that a thorough understanding has been formed on the part of the Americans on the fact that there is no alternative to working with the opposition forces in Syria to have the Syrian opposition groups send a high-level delegation that can make decisions at this conference," said Ryabkov, stressing the importance of inviting Iran to the conference.

Ryabkov said that sending Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria constitutes "a stability factor" that prevents having foreign forces interfering in the "conflict".

Such steps, Ryabkov added, contributes to "deterring some "hotheads" in studying the scenario of internationalizing the conflict with the participation of the foreign powers which don't oppose this idea," stressing that Russia does not intend to reconsider its position in this regard.

He reminded that the sending S-300 anti-aircraft systems is being carried out according to a contract that was signed between Syria and Russia five years ago.

sana
Wed 2013-05-29  |  10:35:27   
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