During the Question-and-Answer session at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had said, in his preceding speech at Munich, that military cooperation with Russia is what the United States wants. But, said Lavrov, he finds statements coming from Ashton Carter’s Pentagon which contradict a desire for cooperation. Lavrov cited the United States’ insistence on continuing its own military action in Syria, while demanding that Russia put its campaign on hold — even though both campaigns are targeting terrorist groups, RT reported today.
Lavrov emphasized to the Munich Security Conference Saturday, “The key instrument in settlement of both the humanitarian problem and the truce problem, is establishment of a daily, hourly cooperation and coordination between the U.S. military, leading their coalition, and the Russian Federation’s military, since we [russia] are working in Syria at the invitation from the Syrian government.” Lavrov said cooperation with the Russian Federation is important, since Moscow “has certain influence on Damascus.”
Lavrov said, “The discussion around the truce is moving sideways to stop the Russian Air Force grouping, thus arousing suspicions and giving reasons for regretful thoughts about what could be the result of all the work in Munich on [the Support Group’s Communique] adopted Feb. 12. If there are no honest daily contacts between the military — in the region, in any other convenient place, from where it is possible to see clearly what happens on the ‘ground,’ and from where it would be possible to manage what happens on the ‘ground,’ then nothing will be implemented. Contacts between the military are fixed in that declaration [the Group’s communique]. If the U.S. ‘moves backwards,’ it undertakes a colossal responsibility,” Lavrov said.
“The fact that the discourse around this ceasefire is drifting toward prioritizing the halt of the operations of the Russian Air Forces, makes me strongly suspect that our peace effort would end in a sour way. If the military are not maintaining an honest day-to-day contact nothing can be achieved,” Lavrov said. “If the Americans try to play it back now, it would be their responsibility,” he added, the RT report said.