Wallström: Russia “just wants to finish the job” in Syria



Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left). On Wednesday, smoke rises from areas targeted by Syrian army shelling in towns in the suburbs of Damascus.

Lyssna: Swedish foreign minister on why UN ceasefire in Syria is not working

Deadly violence has continued in Syria despite a UN ceasefire resolution, drafted by Sweden and Kuwait, that was adopted last weekend.

The resolution is meant to last for 30 days and allow humanitarian aid and medical evacuations in bombed out ares of the Syrian capital, but fighting continues.

“Why is it that Assad, the regime, Russia, and … also the Turkish troops have not stopped the bombings? I think that maybe one explanation is that they feel very secure and sure about a military victory, and they just want to sort of finish the job.”

Foreign Minister Margot Wallström told Radio Sweden on Thursday.

Wallström also said that the five-hour daily “humanitarian pauses” that Russia had declared in eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held area on the outskirts of Damascus, were flawed.

She said the time limit was too short and that the pause should cover the whole of Syria and not just parts of Damascus as well as put an emphasis on providing medical aid.

Radio Sweden asked her whether it’s still possible to have faith in diplomatic measures when the parties don’t comply, and what can be done to actually get the UN ceasefire resolution implemented.

Brett Ascarelli