Russia has accused the West of fanning the fires of a civil war in Syria.
In its most hard-hitting criticism of Western policy on Syria Moscow said that the West’s latest draft resolution which Russia and China vetoed in the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday sought to “abet the opposition’s armed struggle against the Syrian government” by issuing an ultimatum only to the government, and not to the rebels.
“This is a road to fanning civil war in the country,” said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich in a statement on Friday.
Moscow said the West failed to comply with the decisions it agreed upon at the Geneva ministerial meeting of the Action Group on Syria on June 30.
“The outside players undertook to put pressure on all Syrian parties with the aim of ending violence and launching political process towards peaceful transition,” said the statement.
“However, our Western partners, acting against the spirit and letter of the Geneva decisions, have embarked on a totally different course, encouraging the opposition to step up extremist and terrorist activities and dooming the conflict to an escalation which has reached tragic proportions.”
Moscow said the West’s refusal to act upon the Geneva agreements was the main reason for the aggravation of the crisis in Syria.
“In this context it is absolutely unacceptable that some Western countries are trying to lay the blame for the escalation of violence in Syria on Russia over its refusal to support a resolution threatening sanctions against the Syrian authorities,” the Russian statement said.
The statement slammed as “cynical” Western claims that the bloody terrorist attacks in Damascus proved the need to bring pressure solely on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
These claims “serve to justify the terrorists and send them a signal that they are on the right course.”
The Foreign Ministry said a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to stop the Pentagon from buying helicopters for the Afghan military was “revenge” for Moscow’s veto. The Pentagon last week announced plans to buy 12 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters in addition to 21 vehicles supplied earlier.
Experts said the U.S. would shoot itself in the foot if it refuses to buy the Russian helicopters.
“It is a patently foolish and illogical decision. It will create big problems for the American military as they prepare to pull out from Afghanistan and hand over security to Afghan forces,” said defence analyst Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
“It will mean more U.S. coffins from Afghanistan,” the expert said.