Moscow, SANA – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov affirmed that Moscow has not discussed any “Plan B” on Syria with the US.
“We know nothing about any ‘Plan B’, no one has discussed it with us, we are working on the strengthening of the ceasefire regime,” he said on Wednesday commenting on an article published by The Wall Street Journal newspaper about Washington’s “Plan B” for Syria published on April 12.
According to the newspaper, Syrian “moderate” opposition groups could be supplied with U.S. antiaircraft weapons if the cessation of hostilities, holding in the country since February 27, collapses.
“If ‘Plan B’ actually exists in the form of a shift to possible military operations, this is a cause for profound concern and disappointment,” added Ryabkov.
“Hopefully, it does not exist,” he said.
Ryabkov pointed out that the Syrian government has the right to respond to the actions of terrorists, saying “Yes, unfortunately, once again the talks are starting, that the cessation of hostilities is unstable, that there are risks of failure.”
“We, unfortunately, see that in some areas in Syria al-Nusra Front and groups linked to it are on offensive. It is understandable that the government forces cannot avoid responding in these conditions. There is no violation of the ceasefire here,” he said.
Lavrov: Holding parliamentary elections in Syria ensures the work of government establishments
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that holding the parliamentary elections in Syria is quite natural because this ensures the continuation of the current government establishments and prevents a power vacuum from occurring.
In a joint press conference with his Argentinean counterpart Susana Malcorra in Moscow on Wednesday, Lavrov said that the new round of intra-Syrian talks which will begin in Geneva this week will focus on the discussion of the country’s political reform, adding that Syrian parties should participate in these talks which will result in a new constitution, on the basis of which new early elections will be held.
“But until that happens, a legal vacuum and a vacuum in the sphere of Syria’s executive power should be prevented. The elections that are held today should play this role.” Lavrov added.
The Russian diplomat affirmed Moscow’s full adherence to the agreements related to holding intra-Syrian talks in order to reach a consensus on political reforms, calling on the Syrian parties to show flexibility in order to reach mutual agreement.
He added that the Syrian opposition should work on reaching to a compromise, and that it’s necessary to include Kurds in the Geneva talks.
Zakharova: Parliamentary elections in Syria are important factor for stabilization
In the same context, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said parliamentary elections being held in Syria are an important factor for stabilizing the situation in the country.
“Syria today is holding parliamentary elections,” Zakharova wrote on her official Facebook page.
“More than 7,000 polling stations and 3,500 candidates…Against the background of what is happening in Syria elections are an important factor for stabilization,” she said.
Elections of the People’s Assembly for the second legislative term started at 7 AM this morning, with voters casting their ballots to select 250 members out of 3,500 candidates from all Syrian provinces.
The voting centers will remain open until 7 PM. The duration of the elections can be extended for five hours by a decision from the Higher Judicial Committee for Elections.