RUSSIALINK: “Russian-U.S. dialogue on Syria still intensive – Ryabkov” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) – Russia is not phasing out a dialogue on Syria, and it is still quite intensive, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

While talking to journalists on Thursday, Ryabkov was asked whether there were any concerns about Russian-U.S. dialogue on Syria in light of the absence of a U.S. delegation at the last round of negotiations in Astana.

“I wouldn’t say that we have concerns, we are not phasing out this dialogue, we are continuing it, and it is still quite intensive,” Ryabkov said.

Russia has taken note of “the U.S.’ physical absence at the ninth meeting of the Astana format,” he said.

“The U.S. has been increasingly more inclined to deal only with formats and mechanisms and participate only in multilateral events where it either dominates or where it absolutely sets the tone of the work,” Ryabkov said.

“Regardless of issues under consideration – and Syria is not an exception – they absolutely can’t tolerate alternative views” and like “everyone only to sing along and say ditto to them,” Ryabkov said.

“This is an abnormal situation, and it increases tensions in the international system, and it also has a generally negative effect on the opportunities for collectively resolving problems which cannot be resolved in a narrow format, which cannot be resolved through some secretive and private get-togethers, where everyone knows in advance that everyone agrees with each other,” Ryabkov said.