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Russian official: We Reject Precondition of President al-Assad Departure

14 February 2013 14:24

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Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, stressed that Russia does not agree with the approach that calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside before going for dialogue.

“We reject the requirement of the departure of President al-Assad as a precondition to launch dialogue between the parties concerned in Syria,” Russia Today website quoted Pushkov as saying on Wednesday.

Speaking during a press conference in Moscow, the Russian official stressed that the US has started to move toward the Russian position regarding the crisis in Syria as it acknowledged that the downfall of the government institutions in Syria would result in grave repercussions.

“The US realized that if everything would fall apart we would be having a second Afghanistan,” Pushkov added. He reiterated that the settlement in Syria will be as follows: “dialogue comes first and the future of the political system is to be determined later.”

He emphasized that Syria is confronting an international conspiracy and serious foreign intervention represented in providing arms and financial support to the opposition.

Pushkov said that the system in Syria has no choice but to defend itself, adding that “Had it not been for the huge foreign arms supplies and financial support, the Syrian government would have been able to keep a firm hold on all Syrian areas.”

He added that President al-Assad was right when he announced that “We are fighting against an international conspiracy,” noting that the presence of serious foreign intervention elements aims at creating a bloody balance, which will prolong the crisis.

Pushkov said that the US will soon acknowledge the reasons and proofs which Russia put forward in regard to evaluating the situation in Syria, pointing out that the US has admitted that the collapse of the administrative structure in Syria would have very negative repercussions.

Russian Official: Military Cooperation with Syria Progressing

Anatoly Isaykin, Director of the Russian Rosoboronexport firm said that technical military cooperation with Syria is progressing under international law, indicating that his country exported air defense systems to Syria according to signed contracts.

RT website quoted Isaykin as saying during a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday that ”Syria ranks 13 or 14 in the overall volume of Russian foreign exports, ” indicating his firm has not exported Iskander missile system or any other offensive weapons to Syria.

He denied his firm had signed a contract with Syria for exporting MiG-29M fighter jet, affirming that the company has no such contracts.

Isaykin said there are contract for exporting Yak-130 aircraft which, he said, are yet to come into force. He said that Rosoboronexport is a state corporation working in exporting weapons and military technologies, with a budget of USD 73,3 billion, indicating that his firm managed to augment and expand the scope of foreign exports despite the tense situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

Lavrov Calls for Abandoning Double Standards in Dealing with Syrian Crisis

In statements to the press following his meeting with his Guinean counterpart Francois Fall in the Guinean capital Konakry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for abandoning double standards in dealing with the crisis n Syria, pointing out that recent events related to the so-called “Arab spring” serve as a good lesson for those who use double standards.

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