MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States should avoid provoking the renewal of an armed conflict in Syria, Russian parliament’s deputy speaker Sergei Zheleznyak said Wednesday.
"I hope that the Washington's leadership will keep prudence and urge [the United States] not to provoke the renewal of the armed conflict [in Syria] that could completely destroy a formidable way to peace in the Middle East," Zheleznyak told journalists.
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying that Washington planned to supply what it deems "moderate" Syrian rebels with powerful weapons. According to the media outlet, the so called Plan B aims to provide the Syrian opposition factions with various types of anti-aircraft weapons which can be used against the Syrian governmental forces.
According to the Russian lawmaker, Moscow hopes that Washington will continue operating within the framework of the February Russian-US agreement, which has led to the ceasefire in war-torn Syria.
"Due to the responsible and balanced position of our [Russian] president and the hard work of the Foreign Ministry, a real chance to start the process of restoration of peace and statehood in Syria has emerged for the first time in several years of hostilities," Zheleznyak added.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups.
The so-called Plan A — the cessation of hostilities between Syrian government forces and rebel groups, with the exception of terrorist networks operating in the country — took effect on February 27 and has been described as largely holding despite some violations.