At the latest session of the so-called Friends of Syria Group in the Netherlands, representatives of more than 60 European and Arab countries called for boosting military support to opponents of the Bashar Assad regime. The possibility of bringing more groups of anti-Assad mercenaries into the country was also discussed.
Simultaneously, the United States slapped new sanctions against a Belarusian company, Belvneshpromservis, for the alleged arms supplies to Syria. Minsk refuted the allegations, seeing them as part of pressure on Belarus for having repeatedly spoken out in favor of a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Sergei Demidenko, an expert at the Institute for Strategic Assessments and Analysts, comments the issue:
"This is a standard situation. The Americans said nothing new but just accentuated their stance. And not just the Americans, but also that part of the global pool which campaigns for the overthrow of the Assad regime. They will make all sorts of verbal declaration in support of a political solution, while at the same time continuing to help the opposition. So here we once again came across double standards."
Yevgeny Satanovsky, President of the Institute of Middle East Studies in Moscow, remarked that the Americans had always practiced double standards towards virtually any conflict on the planet.
"It’s a U.S. foreign policy tradition that doesn’t pertain only to the civil war in Syria. As for Syria, the foreign policy task has been set – to remove Assad. That’s why, everything that helps the anti-Assad militants and terrorists is supported or ignored, while everything that helps government troops is condemned and punished with sanctions."
In this situation, Russia has renewed its calls for internal political dialogue in Syria without outside interference. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov reiterated Moscow’s position during a meeting with Syrian ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad. The ambassador thanked Russia for humanitarian supplies to Syrian civilians.
On Friday morning, a relief plane of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry landed in Damascus. It brought 38 tons of food. Earlier, a similar batch of humanitarian aid was handed over to the Syrian Red Cross Society. The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged all countries that proclaimed themselves true friends of Syria to follow suit.