In comments cleared for release on Saturday, Lavrov also said Syria's chemical weapons had been concentrated in one or two areas and were "under control" for the time being.
Voice of Russia, Reuters
Russia does not engineer regime change and categorically rejects suggestions that it might grant asylum to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Speaking to the Russia Today television Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also called attention to attempts by the Syrian rebels to provoke the government into a violent response by sowing confessional strife and staging terror attacks.
He condemned Western powers for exercising double standards in their approach to Syria and trying to find ‘friends’ among the Syrian terrorists.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told the Russia Today TV channel that some Middle Eastern players had turned to Moscow asking it to urge Syria’s Assad to step down.
He criticized them for treating Russia like an “errand boy” and suggested they should talk directly to Assad.
Mr. Lavrov also said opposition insurgents were provoking the regime by terrorist attacks, kidnapping and turning the war into a sectarian strife, which was very dangerous.
“Our colleagues from the UN Security Council have been refusing to condemn these terror acts,” the foreign chief said. “They have been critical of terrorism as a whole but said we must take into account the reasons why rebels are attacking security forces.”
“Our Western colleagues are dividing terrorists into bad ones and acceptable ones. This could end badly,” he concluded.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi have had a telephone conversation to discuss prospects for a political and diplomatic settlement in Syria.
When interacting with the warring factions, emphasis should be laid on the need to abide by the Geneva communiqué on Syria, the Russian Foreign Minister said.
According to him, this would help put an end to the bloodshed and start a substantive inter-Syrian dialogue. Brahimi reiterated readiness for further contacts with Moscow on the Syrian problem.
There were chances not to escalate the conflict in Syria, but to put it to an end, but they are gone, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told in an exclusive interview with a Russian channel. According to the top official, Russia has tried its best to help find a diplomatic solution for the violence, but was undermined by those countries pushing for immediate intervention.
We are “not in the business of regime change”, Lavrov clarified Russia’s position over the issue once again.
Those who suggest President Assad should leave the country, should address the Syrian president directly, not Russia, Lavrov said.
In response to a question whether the Patriot system deployed in Turkey targets Iran, Lavrov said that “the configuration as it is being presented in the media really looks like it could be used against Iran.”
The full version of the interview will be available next week.
Russia doesn’t recognize Syria's National Opposition Coalition but is ready to work with it, the country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
He added that Russia is now interacting with all representatives of the Syrian opposition and is trying to push them towards a dialogue.
Lavrov believes that there would be no winner in the conflict and urged not to drag Palestinians who appeared to be in Syria at the moment into the conflict.
Voice of Russia, RT, TASS