MOSCOW: Russia will not allow the introduction of a no-fly zone in Syria as the consequences of such step can be seen in Libya, a top Russian diplomat said on Monday.
“We have seen the Libyan example of how such a zone is implemented and how such decisions are brought to life. We do not want this to be repeated in the Syrian conflict. And I think that we principally will not allow the repetition of this scenario,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a news briefing in Moscow on Monday.
On Saturday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the placement of anti-aircraft systems in Jordan to enforce a no-fly regime in Syria was a violation of international law.
President Vladimir Putin also attacked plans to send more weapons to anti-Assad rebels at a press conference in London ahead of the G8 summit. The Russian leader said that sending arms to people who “eat their enemies’ intestines in front of TV cameras” was against not only international laws but also against humanitarian principles.
Lukashevich added that the plans to send weapons to Syrian opposition forces hamper the attempts to convene the Geneva conference on Syria as agreed by Russia and the United States.
The Russian diplomat said that the steps to arm the opposition will only lead to the escalation of tension in Syria and surrounding countries, and it was very hard to talk about the possible terms of the conference that could somehow defuse the situation.
“Unfortunately, the situation is changing a lot and not for the better, this factor is complicating all talks aimed at convening the conference in the near future,” he added.
He said that Russia hoped the forthcoming three-sided meeting between Russian, US and UN diplomats would try to sketch some compromising scenarios for the conference, including the conditions under which it is held, its members and other political and organizational aspects of the event.
The three-sided preparatory meeting in Geneva is scheduled for June 25.