THE Russian foreign minister has said countries backing Islamic extremists in their efforts against the Syrian government have “sabotaged” any potential peace deal.
Amid heavy tension between Russia and the West, Sergey Lavrov hit out at nations for supporting militant groups intent on toppling president Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
He made the remarks on a visit to Greece, a Nato and European Union member that has maintained close ties with Russia.
Other nations have taken part in large-scale military drills conducted by Nato forces in preparation for the possibility of clashing with Russian fighters.
Around 500 troops from Lithuania, Estonia, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK demonstrated their combat skills at the Adazi training ground, in Riga, Latvia.
Without naming another country, Mr Lavrov said: “Unfortunately on many occasions, efforts for a political resolution have been sabotaged.
“This is not in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. Some parties are backing extremists aimed at removing the Assad regime.
“If those resolutions had been carried out in an honest way, the situation in Syria would have already improved.”
The Russian met with Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and president Prokopis Pavlopoulos, as part of a friendship between the two countries that included multiple cultural exchanges and a visit to Greece in may by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Over the weekend, Russian navy destroy Smetlivy reached Greece’s main port of Piraeus before sailing onto the east Mediterranean to join warships backing government forces in Syria’s five-year-long civil way.
Russia’s relations with the West have come under further strain after Moscow used airpower to back a Syrian government siege of Aleppo.
Peace talks resumed after Russia finally halted the airstrikes last month.
Mr Lavrov added: “We have seen that after every humanitarian pause, the opportunity is used by the terrorists to strengthen their manpower and weaponry.”
Mr Shoygu added: “Is this an opposition with which we can achieve agreements?
“In order to destroy terrorists in Syria is it necessary to act together, and not put a spanner in the works of partners. Because the rebels exploit that in their interests.”