Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, attended by Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu, Moscow, December 21, 2017
Mr Staffan de Mistura, colleagues,
Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu and I are glad to welcome you to Moscow. This is not your first visit, we communicate regularly, including here in the Russian capital and at international platforms. We are grateful to you for accepting our invitation to come to Moscow to exchange views once again on the current state of the Syrian settlement process.
There are a number of factors that certain players have been trying to use to impede this process. As President of Russia Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said, we reaffirm our full commitment to UN Security Council resolution 2254. The efforts that Russia has been making at the Geneva platform, and, over the past year, at the Astana platform, including the creation of de-escalation zones, the start of direct talks between delegations of the Syrian Government and the armed opposition, as well as our joint initiative with Turkey and Iran to convene a Syrian National Dialogue Congress, are aimed at the implementation of UN Security Council decisions and resolution 2254 and at creating the best possible conditions for the success of negotiations under the UN aegis, under your aegis, Mr de Mistura.
Today, Sergey Shoigu and I will listen to your assessment of the latest round of the Geneva talks with pleasure and interest. We, for our part, will inform you about preparations for the next Astana round, which, as far as I understand it, you will attend tomorrow. We will also brief you on matters related to safeguarding the ceasefire regime “on the ground”, humanitarian aid and a whole number of other problems that are closely linked with the Syrian people’s future.