(MOSCOW) — Moscow continues to be at odds with Washington over how to end the 28-month Syrian civil war, now criticizing the Obama administration’s plan to provide rebels with small arms.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that by arming opposition forces, the U.S. was undermining a planned peace summit being brokered by Moscow and Washington.
Lavrov argued the Americans plan “goes against our joint initiative.”
Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry announced their proposal for a conference last May but it’s been delayed by one problem after another, not the least of which has been the reluctance of both Damascus and the opposition to send officials to the summit that is now tentatively scheduled for September in Geneva.
While Russia complains about the U.S. providing weapons to rebels, it has also been sending heavy artillery to President Bashar al-Assad’s military.
Moscow, along with Beijing, has also been instrumental in scuttling United Nations Security Council resolutions that call for al-Assad to step down in order to set up a transitional government in Syria.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Dave Gilbert, CNN
Claire Moran, CNN
David Mark, CNN Newswire
Sugam Pokharel and Tim Hume, CNN