Russia to keep supporting Syria peace plan
Moscow, May 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia will keep backing the peaceful settlement plan in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
The Russian foreign ministry said Lavrov and UN special envoy Kofi Annan had a telephone conversation on the latter's initiative.
"Annan informed Lavrov of his efforts designed to achieve peaceful settlement in Syria. Annan thanked the Russian side for assistance," a statement said.
A ceasefire agreement between the armed Syrian opposition and government troops brokered by Annan was signed April 12 but has been repeatedly violated since.
Lavrov said arms smuggling to Syria was inadmissible.
"Arms smuggling to Syria is inadmissible as it destabilizes the situation in the country and region in general," he said.
Russia supplies Syria with a variety of weapons including anti-ship and air-defence missiles, armoured vehicles and aircraft.
Moscow earlier said it sold arms to Damascus in accordance with existing contracts but that these deliveries were not in contravention of any international agreements.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March, 2011, the UN said.
Russia has twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions over what it called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the uprising against Assad, but has given its full backing to Annan's peace plan.
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