The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, has accused the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, of being biased and of having a lack of objectivity with regard to his assessment of Moscow’s role in the resolution of the Syrian conflict. Zakharova’s comments were published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to Zakharova, “a campaign has been launched through a number of foreign media platforms discussing the role of Russia in the Syrian conflict”. She added that Ban Ki-moon “wittingly or unwittingly” was involved in this campaign. “We always proceeded, and continue to proceed, on the basis that the comments from the Chief Administrative Officer of the World Organization must maintain impartiality and objectivity,” Zakharova stressed. “In this case, this clearly did not happen,” she added.
These statements made by the Russian Foreign Ministry are with regard to a recent speech made by Ban Ki-moon at a London conference to discuss the situation in Syria. They also refer to his interview with the Financial Times, which was published on the 5th of February. In this interview, Ban Ki-moon detailed the failure of Syrian peace talks in Geneva. He stated that Russia was unwilling to stop supporting the forces of the dictator and Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.
Ban Ki-moon also said that Russia and Syria showed a “lack of commitment” to the resolution of the UN Security Council dated the 19th of December 2015. This resolution provided the peace plan for the Middle Eastern country. Ban Ki-moon did however state that Russia supported this resolution.
He also stated that the increased support of Bashar al-Assad from Moscow had an “extremely negative” influence on the settlement process and put the ceasefire in jeopardy.
On the 4th of February, during the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, it was announced that peace talks would be suspended until the 25th of February. This was due to Russia covering up the advance of Bashar al-Assad’s army towards Aleppo. The next day, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that Russia’s actions in Syria had led to the deaths of many civilians. These included women and children, and were due to the use of unguided bombs.
On the 6th of February, the number of Syrian refugees trying to cross the border with Turkey was revealed. In one day, the number had nearly doubled from 20,000 people to 35,000 people. It was noted that these people were fleeing from Bashar al-Assad’s army in Aleppo. It was also reported that on the 5th of February alone, 120 people were killed during clashes in the city.
On Monday, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that “she is not just depressed but also overwhelmed” by the suffering of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians due to the bombings executed by the forces of Bashar al-Assad.