The international coalition doesn't seem to fight against the Nusra Front terrorist group in Syria (also known as HTS), Lavrov said on Friday, following a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov.
"The Nusra Front is not being targeted. We still have no evidence that the US-led coalition considers the Nusra front as a target for its military campaign," Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow.
The Foreign Minister went on to underscore that the terrorists use civilians in East Ghouta as human shields in order to put the blame for any casualties on the Syrian government and its allies, and present them as parties that violate international humanitarian laws.
"A lot of questions arise on how the media campaign seeking to accuse Damascus and its allies in the anti-terror fight of violating international humanitarian law is being conducted," the minister stressed, adding that mainstream media use the information about alleged humanitarian law violations that have been presented by the White Helmets, a group created with the help of the US and UK governments.
The Nusra Front has repeatedly launched attacks on Damascus from Eastern Ghouta, including several against Russia's embassy and trade mission in the Syrian capital.
UN Resolution on Humanitarian Pause in East Ghouta
A proposed UN Security Council resolution on Syria's ceasefire doesn't guarantee that the terrorists will lay down their weapons; at the same time, Moscow is ready to back the proposal, he pointed out.
"In order to make this resolution effective — and we are ready to agree on a document that will do so — we propose a formula that will make the ceasefire real and based on the guarantees of the parties that are currently residing in East Ghouta; the guarantees should be backed by the external powers, including those who have influence over the extremist groups that entrenched themselves in the Damascus suburbs.
Later in the day, the German government confirmed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for Russia’s support of the resolution. According to the statement, both countries urge cessation of hostilities and "a ceasefire to ensure help for civilians, humanitarian access, and medical evacuation" and call on Russia to take on responsibility.
The draft resolution ordering a 30-day humanitarian ceasefire across Syria in order to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid was initially proposed by Sweden and Kuwait. The UN Security Council is expected to meet on Thursday to be briefed by the UN humanitarian agency on the situation in the militant-controlled area.
The US Struggling to Create Quasi-State in Eastern Syria
Sergei Lavrov said that the Astana process, a series of negotiations on the Syrian crisis in the Kazakh capital, remains the only barrier that prevents the United States from dividing Syria.
"These plans, even though they are denied by the US side, are being implemented already," Lavrov said. "As we have already said, huge territories to the east of the Euphrates river, are being mastered by the Americans, who are engaging in the geopolitical engineering there and creating quasi-state structures."
Four Syrian de-escalation zones were created during the Astana talks on Syrian reconciliation, including the one in Eastern Ghouta. Russia, Iran and Turkey serve as guarantors of the de-escalation agreements, which do not apply to militants linked to the terrorist group al-Qaeda.