MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, Ban told the Financial Times newspaper that Russian airstrikes near the Syrian city of Aleppo made it harder for UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to mediate talks between Damascus and opposition that were underway in Geneva. They were eventually put back three weeks until February 25.
“He de facto apportioned the blame for stalled intra-Syria talks in Geneva and deteriorating humanitarian situation [in Syria] to Russia,” Zakharova said.
© AFP 2016/ Fabrice Coffrini
She said that Ban’s remarks played into the hands of Western media who had been spreading rumors about the Russian air campaign against Islamists in Syria and the toll it took on the civilian population.
“We have always assumed and still assume that comments from the chief executive of an international organization should be unbiased and objective, in line with his status. This was obviously not the case,” Zakharova stressed.
In late January, militants, including those from the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, reinforced their positions in Aleppo close to the northern border with Turkey. A Syrian ground offensive backed by Russian airstrikes managed to sever their supply routes and gain control of border regions.