Russia says ready to agree on UN resolution on Syria but with caveats

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said in a briefing about discussions on a UN ceasefire resolution that there are no guarantees that (the rebels) will not continue shooting at Damascus residential areas.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said in a briefing about discussions on a UN ceasefire resolution that there are no guarantees that (the rebels) will not continue shooting at Damascus residential areas.PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (REUTERS, AFP) - Russia is ready to agree on a UN Security Council draft resolution in Syria but it needs guarantees on a ceasefire, Foreign Minister Lavrov said on Friday (Feb 23).

"There are no guarantees that (the rebels) will not continue shooting at Damascus residential areas," Lavrov said in a briefing about discussions on a UN ceasefire resolution for Syria.

"That's why for the resolution to be efficient - and we are ready to agree on the text which would make it so - we propose a formula which would make the ceasefire real, based on the guarantees of all who are inside eastern Ghouta and outside eastern Ghouta," Lavrov said.

European leaders called on Friday for an immediate ceasefire in Syria to allow for humanitarian aid and evacuations after more than 400 civilians were killed in the rebel-held region of Eastern Ghouta.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin urging him to back a UN Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Syria, France's presidency said.

It said the letter, sent while Macron and Merkel were at an EU summit in Brussels, asked Russia to support the draft resolution calling for a 30-day truce in Syria, mainly to allow medical and other aid to reach Eastern Ghouta and allow evacuations.