Jun. 5, 2013 (TSR) – Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that the attempts to influence the situation in Syria through direct military intervention will yield no fruits and are doomed to failure, warning that these attempts would result in heavy humanitarian consequences reported by SANA.
Speaking during a press conference following the end of the 31st Russia-EU Summit, which kicked off Tuesday in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, President Putin expressed his country’s disappointment with the European Union’s decision to lift the embargo on exporting arms to the “opposition” in Syria.
“I won’t hide that we were disappointed by this issue,” he added.
He reiterated that Russia’s arms exports to Syria are being carried out on the basis of transparent contracts that are internationally recognized, noting that the contract on exporting S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria has not yet been implemented.
“The S-300 systems are, really, one of the best air defense systems in the world, probably the best…It is a serious weapon,” said Putin. “We do not want to disturb the balance in the region. The contract was signed several years ago. It has not yet been realized.”
The Russian President pointed out that Russia and the European Union agreed to closely coordinate their efforts to address the urgent international issues.
“We agreed to further coordinate the joint efforts to succeed in holding the Geneva conference on Syria as well as in the other urgent international issues,” he said.
He pointed out that both sides’ agreement was arrived at within the framework of the UN and with an initiative from Britain for an international treaty on not sending arms to non-government formations.
President Putin added that a document was adopted within the framework of the European Union that prohibits sending weapons to conflict areas in the world.
He expressed his hope that no “man-eaters” would be among the representatives of the “Syrian opposition” to the conference on Syria due to be held in Geneva, referring to footages aired by some TV channels showing members of the “armed opposition” cutting out and eating internal organs of people they had killed.
He added that the participation of “such types of people” in the international conference on Syria “would make it difficult to ensure the security of the Russian participants in the conference.”
President Putin said that absence of good will and a unified program on the part of the “armed opposition” in Syria, in addition to the inability to determine their representatives to the conference, are all issues that hinder the holding of the conference on Syria.
He pointed out that Moscow and Brussels share the same stance on the need to hold the international conference on Syria ‘Geneva 2′, saying “this is what unites us with our European colleagues.”
Rompuy: There Is No Substitute to Political Solution in Syria
In his opening speech, Chairman of the EU Council, Herman Van Rompuy, expressed confidence that there is no substitute to a political solution to the crisis in Syria.
Rompuy announced that the EU will enhance cooperation with Russia regarding finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.
He expressed the European states’ welcome of the Russian-US agreement on holding an international conference on Syria in Geneva based on Geneva Statement issued Last June.
Rompuy stressed that diplomatic solutions must be among the priorities of the future stage, adding that a lot of EU countries decided not to export arms to Syria as to ensure dialogue.
“What are the goals of the international conference to be held on Syria and what are the obstacles hindering it… the structure of the opposition is not clear,” Rompuy added.
He went on to say that the international community must shoulder its responsibility regarding the situation in Syria.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the EU Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission’s Head, Jose Manuel Barroso, discussed, in a meeting, the crisis in Syria and the economic situation in Russia.
Russia Rejects Deployment of Foreign Countries’ Arms in Syria’s Neighboring Countries
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, stressed his country’s rejection of the deployment of foreign countries’ weapons in the territories of Syria’s neighboring countries, saying what is happening is injecting a dangerous region with foreign arms.
“I remember that early this year such missiles were deployed in Turkey which are similar in their tactical and technical characteristics to the S-300 missile systems…There are also foreign fighter jets in air bases,” said Lukashevich in a press conference in Moscow.
“We expressed our position on that several times and it is that what is happening is a dangerous region being injected with foreign arms,” he added.
He clarified that the U.S. State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, earlier stressed that the deployment of the American F 16 fighter jets and Patriot missiles to Jordan aims to participate in joint military drills and noted that these weapons could stay in Jordan in case it requested that.
Lavrov: Date of International Conference on Syria Set After Agreement on Participation List
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov announced that the date of holding the international conference on Syria will be determined after reaching an agreement on the list of the participants.
Lavrov told the Journalists in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg that “firstly the essence; secondly the date…we should have agreement on the list of participants as to invite all Syrian sides and all regional and international players who have influence on the situation in Syria, after that the date of the conference will be determined.”
The United Nations announced that representatives of the U.S., Russia and the U.N will hold a preparatory meeting on June 5th in Geneva regarding the preparation for the international conference.
Russian Foreign Ministry: Syrians Kurds Support Syria International Conference
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Syrian Kurds support the initiative of holding international conference on Syria and they are ready to participate in it.
The Ministry in a statement published on its website added that the Kurds afe heading to fully participate in the settlement process through the extensive Syrian national dialogue which is aimed at shaping the democratic future of Syria and ensuring the rights of all spectrums of the Syrian society.
The international conference on Syria was called for by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry at the conclusion of their meeting in Moscow last month.
Russian Foreign Ministry Expresses Concerns over Terrorists Attempts to Use Chemical Weapons in Syria and Iraq
Russian Foreign Ministry Expressed concerns over the news published by Iraqi authorities over the possession of terrorists in Iraq equipment to produce chemical weapons and poisonous gases.
Russia Today website reported the Ministry as saying in a statement “the news coming from Baghdad confirm the need of caution over terrorists’ attempts in both Syria and Iraq to use poisonous materials.”
The statement pointed out that the terrorist groups in Syria, particularly Jabaht al-Nusra, had pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda forming “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.”
The Iraqi military intelligence arrested a terrorist cell specialized in manufacturing chemical compounds that produce sarin, mustard and nerve gases that they intended to use inside Iraq and in neighboring countries.
The Iraqi defense ministry said that the 5-member terrorist cell has been under surveillance for three months.
The Iraqi defense ministry spokesman, Mohammad al-Askary said during a press conference on Saturday that ”the terrorist cell attempted to target visitors with chemical weapons.”