Syrian opposition no angels either – Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned against a black-and-white approach to the situation in Syria. He said that Russia would support a resolution addressed to both sides of the conflict, not just President Bashar al-Assad.

­“I believe the resolutions we would approve to send a strong message to the Syrian regime should in fact be addressed to both sides,” he said. “Things are not just black and white there, and the anti-government protesters in Syria are not followers of some refined European models of democracy.”

Speaking to the Euronews TV Channel after the Global Policy Forum in Yaroslavl, the Russian leader added that the Syrian opposition is not homogeneous and is composed of different groups, including extremist.  

“There are different groups within the opposition,” Dmitry Medvedev said. “Some of them are, to put it bluntly, extremists, and some might even be called terrorists. The situation is not that simple, and we have to take into account the balance of different forces and interests.” 

As for the Russian position on tackling the situation in the country, it firmly stands on in favor of negotiations, the president said. Dmitry Medvedev stressed that a one-sided approach here is also unacceptable. 

“Russia may support certain moves, but only if they do not boil down to the one-sided condemnation of the government and President Assad,” he said. “We should send a strong message calling on all the conflicting parties to come to the negotiating table, start the talks and stop the bloodshed.” 

“This is also in Russia’s interests, because Russia has always been Syria’s friend, and our countries have close economic and political ties,” the president added. “That is why we will continue to look for solutions to the situation in Syria.”