Russia’s stance on the Syrian revolution and its reluctance to condemn Bashar al-Assad’s regime have been met with scathing criticism on the part of the revolutionaries, while Russia refuses to admit the role it is playing in the daily killings of peaceful demonstrators.
“Syrians pay with their blood for arms deals between Russia and the Syrian regime,” journalist and political activist Wahid Sakr told Al Arabiya’s Panorama on Sunday.
The arms provided by Russia, Sakr said, have been used in the brutal crackdown on unarmed civilians who demand the fall of Assad’s regime.
“Syrian blood is being sold in the Russian political bazaar,” he said. “Around 70 percent of Syria’s revenue goes to arms.”
Russian political analyst Vyacheslav Matuzov refuted Sakr’s claims that Russia should be held accountable for the death of Syrian civilians.
“Of course Russia’s stance on the Syrian revolution springs from a desire to protect Moscow’s interests, yet Russia does not condone the killing of innocent protestors,” he told Al Arabiya during the Panorama episode.
Russia, Matuzov explained, does provide Syria with arms, but not for killing civilians, and not solely for the sake of profit.
“Russia caters to some of Syria’s armament needs because this contributes to the stability of the Middle East and will help Syria respond properly in case of an attack from Israel.”
Matuzov denied reports that the Mediterranean port of Tartus in western Syria serves as a Russian military base.
“Tartus port only provides facilities for the Russian navy and Russia does not have any military bases in Syria.”
Matuzov absolved the Russian government from any responsibility as far as the massacres committed by the Syrian regime are concerned.
“Throughout all contacts between the two governments, Moscow has been making it clear to Damascus that it condemns the killing of unarmed civilians.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)