MOSCOW (Sputnik) — It is important to unite the efforts of Russia and the US-led coalition in order to improve efficiency of the fight against terrorists in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
“We believe that in order to solve this problem [to improve efficiency of anti-terror fight] it is important to unite the efforts of all those who fight terrorism in Syria, I mean both the Russian Aerospace Forces and the coalition led by the Americans,” the Russian minister said at a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.
Speaking about the role of Moscow and Washington in the Syrian settlement, Lavrov added that Jordan’s King Abdullah II repeatedly stressed the necessity of US-Russian cooperation on the Syrian issue. He added that Moscow was ready for this interaction and expected the same approach from Washington.
The Russian foreign minister also noted the importance of the ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and the armed opposition “to counter terror threats more effectively on the Syrian territory.”
The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011, being fought between government troops and numerous opposition and terrorist organizations, such as Daesh, outlawed in Russia.
The US-led international coalition has been carrying airstrikes in civil-war-torn Syria since 2014, without authorization either from Damascus or the UN Security Council. Russia has been conducting an anti-terror campaign in Syria since September 2015 at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s request.
Non-Nuclear NATO States Engagement in ‘Joint Missions’ Violates NPT – Moscow
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States continues to engage non-nuclear European NATO member states in the so-called joint nuclear missions, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a Saturday statement.
“These ‘missions’ include the elements of nuclear planning and training of practical skills of the use of nuclear weapons with the aid of carrier aircraft, their crews, infrastructure of airfields and ground services of NATO’s non-nuclear states. This is a direct violation of the Articles I and II of the NPT,” the ministry said, commenting on NATO’s joint nuclear missions.
Washington dramatically curtailed arms control and nonproliferation discussions in 2014 and restricted contacts between the US and Russian militaries. This decision was made despite the implementation of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START), which was signed in Prague, the Czech Republic, on April 8, 2010.
As of February 5, 2011, New START would be in effect for 10 years with the possibility of prolongation. The United States’ plans to place Aegis ashore ballistic missile defense system (Aegis BMDS) in NATO member states were regarded by Russia as a threat to its national security. Unwilling to take Russian concerns into account, Washington suspended its dialogue on this matter before a crisis broke out in Ukraine.