Russia’s Lavrov urges western States to stop ‘sabotaging’ return of Syrian refugees

Moscow [Russia]: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the Western countries on Tuesday to cease undermining the return of Syrian refugees to their home country by flouting the UN mandate to create the conditions for repatriation.
“All must respect all provisions of this resolution [2254]… It concerns the need for the West to stop sabotaging the requirement to create conditions for the return of refugees to the Syrian Arab Republic,” Lavrov said after the meeting with Vatican’s secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher in Moscow. The Russian minister went on to chide the Western states for not engaging in restoring Syria’s infrastructure.
“The West, unfortunately, only collects money to keep these refugees in the countries where they left in the early years of the conflict, especially Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and unwilling to do anything to rebuild the basic infrastructure for the refugees’ return,” Lavrov added.
The minister also called for ending “illegal unilateral sanctions that the West continuously imposes on the Syrian Arab Republic,” especially in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Syrian Civil War has been ongoing since 2011, with President Bashar Assad’s forces fighting against different insurgent groups. The ongoing conflict made millions of the country’s nationals flee to other places, mostly Europe, to save their lives. This created various humanitarian issues in different countries, including those related to the refugees’ subsequent repatriation as the situation in Syria becomes more stable.

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