Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has accused the United States of justifying terrorism against the Syrian government. He also spoke against Western countries’ unilateral sanctions on Syria.
Sergei Lavrov said, “Speaking about the sanctions, including the 17th package of sanctions against Syria which was just passed several days ago, we are against unilateral sanctions in principle. We are for collective discussions of any issues. Unfortunately, when the European Union, the United States, and other countries started to impose unilateral sanctions against Syria, they did not ask us for any advice at all. A unilateral way has been chosen. We think it contradicts a collective principle of doing business. It contradicts the Security Council decisions on Syria. And it directly contradicts agreements by the so-called action group in Geneva on June 30.”
In a July 18 suicide bombing attack, Syrian Defense Minister Dawood Rajha was killed along with three other senior officials, including Rajha’s deputy, Assef Shawkat, who was also al-Assad’s brother-in-law.
The Russian top diplomat said he was surprised that the U.N. Security Council failed to condemn the attack, which Moscow termed as an “act of terror” and demanded the arrest and punishment of those responsible.
“This is a terrible position, all in all. I can’t even find words to express our attitude to that,” Lavrov said.
Last week, Russia and China vetoed another Western-proposed draft resolution that threatened non-military sanctions if Syria failed to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.
Lavrov said that, according to information available, Syrian opposition groups linked to al-Qaeda have seized several checkpoints on the border with Turkey and looted Turkish property.