Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West against "sabotage" of a political transition accord to end the Syria unrest. Lavrov on Wednesday accused certain Western countries of not taking measures to implement the accord that world powers agreed in Geneva last month to end the crisis in Syria, adding that Moscow would not let the West "sabotage" the political transition accord. "What was accomplished in Geneva should not be sabotaged," AFP quoted Lavrov as saying while on a visit to Belarus.
The Russian foreign minister also accused unnamed Western states of fueling violence in Syria by openly supporting the anti-government insurgents and encouraging them to continue their attacks."There is a need for outside players to put pressure on all Syrian sides, [and] stop urging and inciting the opposition to continue the armed struggle," Lavrov said. The top Russian diplomat also said that Moscow expected a formal answer within a matter of days on whether the West backed the accord, which was agreed on June 30 and urges the sides to appoint acceptable representatives to a unity government without making an explicit call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit power. "We will be trying to get an answer from our (Western) partners within literally the coming days about whether they support what they signed off on in Geneva," said Lavrov. Earlier on Wednesday, Russian sources said that Moscow wants to keep a suspended UN monitoring mission in Syria operating in some form after its mandate expires on August 19. "We are in favor of extending the mandate of the UN monitoring mission in Syria whose configuration may be modified depending on the country's current realities," the Interfax news agency quoted a Russian foreign ministry press official as saying. "The United Nations' withdrawal from Syria would in current conditions have serious negative consequences not only for the country but the entire region," the unnamed official said. HM/JR/SS