The United States (US) is smuggling oil and grain by trying to create a Kurdish state east of the Euphrates, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint press conference after a meeting with Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar.
"East of the Euphrates, the United States is essentially creating a Kurdish semi-state and smuggling Syrian oil and Syrian grain," Lavrov said.
Reminding that Russia is working with Turkey and Iran on the Syrian issue within the framework of the Astana format, Lavrov stated that serious problems persist in Syria's economy due to Western sanctions.
The Russian Foreign Minister also commented on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"We will continue to strive for the resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. This is the only way to implement existing United Nations (UN) resolutions," he emphasized.
Lavrov pointed out that without resolving the Palestinian issue on an international legal basis it is difficult to achieve a long-term improvement of the situation in the entire Middle East.
Lavrov responded to a question about Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen's statements that the sanctions against Russia also hurt Russians and that Russians should also pay for the war in Ukraine.
Lavrov said he was not surprised by the speed with which Finland "trampled" on its neutrality status and "joined the anti-Russian project prepared by the United States", recalling that until recently the West had always taken into account the humanitarian dimension of sanctions in order to avoid serious harm to civilians.
Source: Anadolu Agency