The agreement reached in Geneva on June 30 by the Syria Action Group of Western nations, Russia, China, Turkey and several Arab countries for a transition in Syria is still the best way to proceed, argued Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Sky News Arabiya that was aired this weekend. During the interview, Lavrov urged the West not to "bury alive" the communique that came out of that meeting. He said some are searching for any excuse to say that peaceful methods are hopeless, and there is need to use force.
"Statements, saying the document [Geneva accord] is as good as dead imply that someone seeks a pretext for military intervention. This is worrying as it can only lead to catastrophe in the region," he said. He added that proposals only demanding that the Assad regime disarm were "unrealistic," and noted that "Such proposals are aimed at regime change and not at curtailing the conflict and saving Syrian lives."
Indeed, the Western nations aborted Russia's attempt to pull together another meeting of the Syria Action Group on August 17, by refusing to attend—thus abetting the conflict.
As for the no-fly zone that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mooted during her visit to Turkey on Aug. 12, Lavrov pointed out that Russia is opposed to that sort of intervention because it would be a violation of Syria's sovereignty. He added that Russia and China had vetoed Western drafts of UN Security Council resolutions because Russia and China abide by basic UN principles, that is, respect for national sovereignty and not interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.