Sunday, September 13, 2015

Russia Warns US Must Cooperate with It on Syria; Says US Risks Serious Consequences If It Doesn't

Russia warned there could be "unintended consequences" if the US does not engage in military-to-military cooperation with Moscow, as the Kremlin is now conducting navy exercises off the coast of Syria, the Washington Times website reports today (September 13, 2015).

Russia's military buildup in the region has drawn concern from the US and NATO. Moscow says their goal is to help end terrorism in Syria, but the US has warned that Russia's involvement could exacerbate Syria's civil war, and is concerned over Russia's support for Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed Washington for cutting off direct military-to-military communication between Russia and NATO after the crisis in Ukraine last year.

"We are always in favor of military people talking to each other in a professional way. They understand each other very well," Lavrov said. "If, as [US Secretary of State] John Kerry has said many times, the United States wants those channels frozen, then be our guest."

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