Russia says `regrets` US decision to suspend Syria talks
Russia`s foreign ministry on Monday said it regretted a decision by the United States to suspend talks on a Syria ceasefire, saying Washington was trying to shift responsibility for the failure onto Moscow.
Moscow: Russia`s foreign ministry on Monday said it regretted a decision by the United States to suspend talks on a Syria ceasefire, saying Washington was trying to shift responsibility for the failure onto Moscow.
"We regret this decision by Washington to curtail the work of the specialist groups in Geneva, to withdraw their experts and to limit contacts only to the area of avoiding any conflicts," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
"Washington simply did not fulfil the key condition of the agreement to improve the humanitarian condition around Aleppo," Zakharova said. "After failing to fulfil the agreements that they themselves worked out, they are trying to shift responsibility on to someone else".
The United States said it was suspending negotiations with Russia on efforts to revive a failed ceasefire and set up a joint military cell to target jihadists, saying Moscow had "failed to live up to its own commitments" and instead stepped up its military operations.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said the Russian and US militaries will continue to use a communications channel set up to ensure their forces do not get in each others` way during "counterterrorism operations in Syria."
Zakharova insisted that "in the past few days" Russia had "taken efforts aimed at fulfiling" the ceasefire deal, after it unravelled in acrimony. "It all essentially came down to a simple question -- who are Jabhat al-Nusra, who is behind them and why can`t Washington fulfil its promise to divide the terrorists from the so-called moderate opposition," she said, referring to the former Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.
She said that Russia had kept pushing throughout this period for a 72-hour pause to fighting around a key government-controlled road into rebel-held eastern Aleppo.
Russia has been bombing in Syria for the past year in support of leader Bashar al-Assad and is currently backing up a fierce regime assault on the east of Aleppo, that has drawn international condemnation.