Head of Russian diplomacy doesn't rule out possibility of foreign interference in Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov does not rule out the possibility of foreign military interference in Syria.
"Yes, it is possible, not only like in the case of Iraq but also like in the case of Yugoslavia. But I also think that those who wish to intervene in the Syrian crisis will not want to do that without any sort of legitimacy or at least without taking some action at the United Nations that can be used to justify lawfulness," he said in an interview with Russia Today channel.
He also called unacceptable hostage-taking and terror attacks by the Syrian opposition. "On the other hand, several armed opposition groups not united by a single command are resorting to unacceptable methods that fully contradict international humanitarian law - hostage-taking, terror attacks," he said.
Lavrov found disappointing the refusal of Western colleagues to denounce the terrorist acts in Syria on account of the situation in the country.
"It is disappointing that our Western colleagues at the Security Council have started refusing to denounce the terrorist acts in Syria saying 'yes, terrorism is bad but you should take into account the general context of what is happening in Syria, why people resort to terrorist acts," he added.
Lavrov said that such logic can lead to a very dangerous situation not only in the Middle East but also in other parts of the world, if Western partners "start qualifying terrorists as bad or acceptable."
In addition, Russia does not intend to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave his post, let those who suggest it to Moscow do that, Lavrov said.
"We are not in the business of changing regimes. Some regional players are telling us: 'Why won't you tell President al-Assad to resign? We will offer him some asylum," he said. "My answer is very simple. If those who suggest it to us truly want it, they should take the matter directly to President al-Assad."
"Why use us as postmen? If President al-Assad is interested in that, this should be discussed with him directly," Lavrov added.
He recalled though that al-Assad has said many times that he will not leave his post, that he was born and will die in Syria.
"We would not start suggesting anything to him under any circumstances because as I said this should be decided by the people of Syria," the minister said.
He added that the Russian policy in Syria "is not determined by the fact who says what about it, whether it is criticized or praised."
"We don't hear only criticism but also expressions of support from countries that realize the importance of the question not only for the region but for world politics too," he said.