MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined that his country is committed to the international law regarding the situation in Syria, saying "our western partners don't prefer to talk about Libya at the UN Security council, but they suggest to adopt a resolution on Syria.. but we believe that at first it is important to take the example of Libya and not to repeat this big mistake."
"As for the war on Iraq, we have adhered to the international law and we didn't accept war on Iraq at the UN Security Council.. the same we do regarding Syria, of course we remember Libya lesson when the international law was exposed to a difficult test and the Security council resolutions were diverted.. let them see what is happening now there," Lavrov added In an interview with Russkaya Gazeta.
He affirmed that Russia still contacts with the main countries in an intensified way as before regarding Syria.. Russia also keeps contacts with the opposition parties, saying "any opposition group, even the most extremist, don’t talk about issues that we hear from the western partners or from a number of politicians in the region about Russia's role on the situation in Syria."
On the western statements regarding Russia's stand in the wrong side of history and its lose of the Middle East, Lavrov said "those statements are but mere efforts by the western politicians to depict their hopes as an inevitable issue and attempts to instigate some powers against us."
Lavrov demanded that Turkey acknowledge publicly that there wasn't any kind of weapons on board the Syrian civilian plane coming from Moscow which the Turkish authorities forced to land in Ankara recently, referring to Turkey's claims that it carried a shipment of weapons and military equipment which were later disproved.
He said that the Turkish authorities who claimed originally that the plane carried weapons and military later admitted that the plane was actually carrying electronic equipment, reiterating that the plane was carrying electronic equipment for radar station that have double uses and their transportation isn't subject to international embargos according to international agreements or Security Council resolutions.
He affirmed that the cargo in question is regulation spare parts and that Russia has been providing spare parts for Syrians radar stations for decades, adding that this shipment was packed and sent to Syria upon the Syrian side's request and that they constituted no threat to passengers and are non-volatile.
Lavrov noted that the Turkish authorities instructed the Syrian pilot to either land for inspecting the plane's shipment or turn back, and he chose to land since he knows that the shipment is legal.
He affirmed that Russia will continue to demand that Turkey clarify its position of refusing to allow the Russian Consulate to meet the Russian passengers and uncover who was responsible for preventing its staff from boarding the plane.
Lavrov also refuted the Turkish authorities' tales and their discrepancies from the Russian passengers' testimonies about what actually happened during the eight hours when the plane was grounded, adding "it turns out that the situation was completely different from what the Turkish colleagues presented."
He said that upon learning of the incident, Russian consular staff demanded to meet the Russian passengers after receiving a passengers manifest, yet the Turkish authorities refused to allow them to meet them during the eight hours when the plane was grounded, saying that the plane was about to take off but it wasn't so.
Lavrov pointed out that the passengers were detained for two hours inside the plane which wasn't running, meaning that the air conditioning wasn't working and this had adverse effects on one passenger's health, then the Turkish authorities opened the plane's door and said that they were going to transport the passengers to the airport terminal but no-one came to take them anywhere, forcing the passengers to share what little food they had.
He concluded by noting that Russian authorities didn't become aware of any of this until after the plane landed in Damascus.
H. Sabbagh/ Mazen