As Europe debates the best course of action concerning the increasing numbers of Syrian refugees entering the continent, delegates at the Yalta European Strategies, (YES),
conference in Kyiv have been discussing the fate of the war-torn country.
Following warnings over Russia’s involvement in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted “humanitarian” flights to the country are also carrying military equipment.
Euronews was at the YES. There, our correspondent Sergio Cantone spoke to Ruslan Grinberg from the Russian Academy of Science:
“We are witnessing the consequences of intervention in Libya and Iraq so that’s why we can face severe consequences after a change of regime in Syria,” said Grinberg.
Moscow is a long-time ally of the country and its President Bashar al-Assad.
Euronews spoke to his cousin, Ribal al-Assad, an advocate of a political solution to the civil war, which would imply a change of regime.
He is currently living in exile.
“The international community did not from the start bring together, or try to bring together, genuine democratic opposition or a viable alternative to the regime in Syria,” he said. “Instead they have stood in the background and allowed countries such as Saudi, Qatar and others to compete for control over Syria. And those countries do not want to see a genuine democratic country in Syria, but instead they want an Islamic country which they can control and which is similar to their own rule in Syria.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia have come under international criticism for a perceived weak response to the refugee crisis as hundreds of thousands of Syrians flee from the war.
This week, (September 9), the UAE defended its record, saying it has welcomed over 100,000 Syrians since 2011.