Russia on Wednesday warned the West that military strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could destabilize the entire Middle East, as it again denied his government was behind a chemical weapons attack.
Moscow’s strong opposition to the growing possibility of Western military action against the Assad regime is opening the way for a major new diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West.
In a telephone conversation with Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations and Arab League envoy on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “emphasized the lack of alternative to a diplomatic solution,” the foreign ministry said.
Lavrov added “that attempts for a military solution will lead only to a further destabilization of the situation in the country and the region,” the ministry said.
It said both Brahimi and Lavrov agreed “that at this critical moment all sides — including external players — must act with the maximum responsibility and not repeat the mistakes of the past.”