Russia fires back at Obama’s criticism on Syria

August 5, 2016  

Russia on Friday hit back at American criticism over Syria, accusing Washington of lacking trust in Moscow and not behaving as a true partner.

“The United States sometimes don’t behave as partners when dealing with us on Syrian issues and are not always ready to negotiate on equal grounds,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the TASS news agency.

“I think Russia’s policy in Syria is wholly logical, coherent and sets goals that, for the most part, are shared by most members of the international community,” Ryabkov said, lamenting that Washington demonstrates a “lack of trust in our foreign policy.”

The comments come after U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that Russia risked casting itself as an “irresponsible actor” on the world stage particularly due to its actions in Syria’s Aleppo in recent weeks.

Obama said the United States was prepared to work with Russia to try to reduce the violence in Syria and boost the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

“But Russia has failed to take the necessary steps. Given the deteriorating situation, it is time for Russia to show it is serious about pursuing these objectives,” he added, warning he was not confident he could trust Putin.

“We go into this without any blinders on,” Obama said. “We’re going to test and see if we can get something that sticks. And if not, then Russia will have shown itself very clearly to be an irresponsible actor around the world stage that is supporting a murderous regime.”

As reports surfaced of a Russian raid killing two Syrian children and wounding dozens at a refugee camp near Aleppo, Obama said “Russia’s direct involvement in these actions over the last several weeks raises very serious questions about their commitment” to ending hostilities.

Ryabkov on Friday said that “there is a serious deficit of trust in Russian-American relations.”

“We see a deliberate focus on undermining the foundation of our relations over the past years,” he said, listing “illegitimate” sanctions, “military pressure” through NATO and even arrests of Russians on U.S. orders in third countries.

“We believe that trust in Russian-American relations can only be restored if colleagues in Washington approach the entire bilateral agenda honestly and responsibly,” added Ryabkov.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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