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Lavrov Says Russia Will Not 'Chase’ US out of Syria

Lavrov Says Russia Will Not 'Chase’ US out of Syria

Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 - 06:15
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, June 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that his country will not "chase" US military out from Syria or engage in hostilities, but it does engage in a dialogue with Washington.

"Yes, we have contacts with the US in the military - not because we recognize the legitimacy of their presence there, but simply because they have to act within certain boundaries," he said, speaking at a press conference.

“We will not engage in hostilities, of course. But, since they are already there, we engage in a dialogue on the so-called de-conflicting, in which we seek to ensure compliance with certain rules," he said in his remarks.

Commenting on the Israeli airstrikes against Iran-linked sites in Syria, he said Russia refuses that Syrian territories be used as a battle zone to settle regional conflicts.

“So, our dear Israeli colleagues, if you have facts that your state is facing threats from the Syrian territory, report the facts urgently and we will take every measure to neutralize the threat,” Lavrov said.

He also reminded that the UN Security Council Resolution 2254, adopted unanimously, demands to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Syrian Arab Republic.

"What the US do in Syria is, of course, a blatant violation of this resolution," the minister said.

"They imposed the harshest sanctions, the notorious so-called Caesar Act."

At the same time, Lavrov noted, while forbidding everyone from sending even the humanitarian aid to Syria, the US itself has "occupied significant territories on the east bank of Euphrates, and exploited the Syrian national wealth, and persuading the Kurds not to engage in a dialogue with Damascus, and promoting separatist ideas."

"This, of course, causes serious problems in Turkey," he stressed.

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