Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that supplying the armed opposition with man-portable air defense systems might lead to an exacerbation of the situation in Syria.
Lavrov noted, "the permission to supply the anti-government units with arms, including MANPADS,” which was included into United States Defense Bill, "may lead to further escalation of tensions and more casualties."
Kerry and Lavrov discussed questions regarding the settlement of the Syrian conflict in light of the meetings of foreign defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran, which took place in Moscow on December 20 and where an agreement was reached on "the cease-fire progress throughout the Syrian territory after actuating of the anti-terrorist efforts".
The situations in Libya and Yemen was also discussed during the conversation. "Concerning bilateral relations, the Russian Minister once again emphasized the unacceptability of Obama’s administration trying to further undermine the foundations of the normal interaction between Russia and the United States towards the end of his term in office," the message of the Foreign Ministry says.
American initiative led to this discussion between foreign ministers, which was the 70th meeting this year of the Commonwealth of Independent States.