MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States’ refusal to share reconnaissance data on Syria with Russia raises questions in regard to whose side the United States is on, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday.
“Of course, the fact that there are signals from the United States on the impossibility of sharing collected information without reviewing some sort of basic elements of the Russian position on the Syrian settlement yet again confirms what we knew from the very beginning that the United States has its own goals in Syria that has practically nothing to do in providing conditions for the political process or for national reconciliation,” Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.
The diplomat also expressed his puzzlement in regard to which side of the Syrian crisis the United States is on.
According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, Moscow has proposed to Washington and the countries involved in the US-led coalition to share reconnaissance on Syria in order to prove that Russia is indeed striking the infrastructures of the Islamic State.
Earlier, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the United States was not prepared to share reconnaissance on Syria with Russia because it does not share the same goals in Syria that Russia has.
Ryabkov said that the West has begun a smear campaign against Russia in regard to its activities in Syria.
“This proposal was made in order to remove further possible questions and stop further attempts of distorting the contents and reason of our operations,” Ryabkov added.
The United States’ refusal to share reconnaissance on Syria with Russia, however is not hampering the Russian Air Force’s operations, according to the Deputy Foreign Minister.
“This in no way has any influence on the effectiveness of the operations of the Russian Air Force,” Ryabkov said.
He said that the Russian Air Force deployed in Syria receives enough information from other sources, including from the Baghdad Information Center.
“We get this information from sources from a number of other countries and coordinate it with our colleagues through the Baghdad Information Center channels,” Ryabkov said.