Russia and France collaborate on peacekeeping in Eastern Ghouta

World Today

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shakes hands with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian after their joint press conference in Moscow on February 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Yuri KADOBNOV)

There were diplomatic opening statements in Moscow from Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Both agreed to seek solutions to a growing number of international issues. At the top of that list of issues was the situation in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta.

CGTN’s Jessica King reports.

Le Drian said Russia’s implementation of a “daily humanitarian pause” to allow for aid deliveries and evacuations was a good start. Lavrov said Russia acted quickly and “didn’t wait for all the parties to agree on a specific plan of action,” but rather, acted with the Syrian government to implement the daily, five hour pause.

Regardless, reports on the ground show that the fighting continues even with these initiatives. Le Drian pressed Russia to use its influence with Syria’s military to enforce the U.N.-backed ceasefire. It calls on all parties to end hostilities for at least  30 days across the country.

France is pressing Russia for more specific measures enforcing the ceasefire so that crucial aid can be delivered to Eastern Ghouta. The Kremlin has said Moscow is trying to help civilians leave the area, despite provocations from rebels.