Russia’s top diplomat told state media Tuesday, that Russia sent the United States a “concrete” plan to end the five-year civil war in Syria, and Washington was reviewing the proposal. to end Syria crisis. U.S. officials did not immediately confirm they received such a plan. The Russian news agency RIA reported the comments from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Secretary of State John Kerry did not appear to address Russia’s claim while speaking to reporters Tuesday, but he called on Moscow to help arrange for an immediate ceasefire.
He reportedly cited Russia’s role in the ongoing government onslaught on the northern Syrian province of Aleppo. Last week, Syrian troops and their allies were able to lift a three-year rebel siege imposed on the Shiite villages of Nubul and Zahra in Aleppo.
“Russia’s activities from Aleppo and in the region are making it much more difficult to be able to come to the table and be able to have a serious conversation,” Kerry said, according to Reuters.
“Unless we can get to a ceasefire that everybody has signed up to, and humanitarian access to the areas everybody has agreed needs it, then the conflict will be prolonged,” State Dept. spokesman John Kirby said Monday.
Opposition activists have said that Russia has been using cluster bombs since the start of its aerial campaign in Syria on Sept. 30.
The U.N. humanitarian office OCHA said 300,000 people could be cut off from aid if Syrian government and allied forces encircle Aleppo and deprive those fleeing from their last way out. OCHA said local leaders believe up to 150,000 people could try to flee to nearby Afrin and the surrounding countryside.