US plays down Russian 'unilateral action' threat in Syria

US State Department spokesman John Kirby plays down Russian warning of 'unilateral action' against groups in Syria not respecting cessation of hostilities agreement

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Washington expects Moscow to prevent unilateral actions and respond to an American counterproposal on modalities for implementing a cessation of hostilities in Syria, the US State Department said on Monday.

Saying the way of looking at the deal and potential violations of it had already been discussed with Russia, department spokesman John Kirby noted that there was no reason for anyone to say that unilateral action is needed.

"Our expectation is that Russia will refrain from unilateral actions and respond to our counterproposal on the modalities for implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement," he said, giving no further details about the counterproposal.

The US said it already had discussions with Russia in terms of collecting and analysing information about violations of the agreement, he said, but added that he could not date any violators yet.

Kirby's comments came after reports that Russian authorities will unilaterally start to take action against those who violate the agreement, unless US-Russia cooperation on the issue is improved.

In its fourth week, the cessation of hostilities deal, agreed to by Russia and the US, has paved the way for ongoing Geneva peace talks to resume for a political transformation in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Moscow next week, where he will meet President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in order to discuss how to move forward with the political process in Syria.

TRTWorld, AA