DEBKAfile December 22, 2012, 1:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that neither side would win the civil war in Syria, and that China and Russia would be unable to persuade President Bashar Assad to quit even if they tried. In comments cleared for release on Saturday, Lavrov also said Syria's chemical weapons had been concentrated in one or two areas and were "under control" for the time being.
This was Lavrov's second statement on Syria in 24 hours. Friday, he commented, “Some Middle Eastern players had asked Moscow to urge Syria’s Assad to step down. We are not their “errand boy,” he said, and advised them to talk directly to Assad themselves. He also criticized “our Western colleagues from the Security Council” for refusing to condemn terrorist acts by Syrian rebels, and accused them of “dividing terrorists into bad ones and acceptable ones.”