Russian official doubts Kerry's confidence of imminent ceasefire in Syria

Russian Federation Council international affairs committee head Konstantin Kosachyov doubts that the fighting in Syria can be stopped in January, contrary to what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says.

"With regard to Kerry, I would like to believe it, but I can't. Unfortunately, a ceasefire depends on those who fire. And if the U.S. is capable of stopping the firing, this confirms indirectly that it might have had something to do with its beginning," Kosachyov told Interfax on Saturday in commenting on Kerry's remarks.

Kosachyov also said he didn't believe that the fighting in Syria can be stopped soon because "there are too many forces that have gone out of any control."

As concerns the decisions on Syria made at a UN Security Council session in New York on Friday, Kosachyov pointed out that, while these decisions are not final and are not a breakthrough, this is a very important step in the right direction.

"What counts most is that the activities of the coalition led by the Americans are returning to the framework of the UN and its charter for the first time. This provides for a legal basis for interaction with Russia and other countries that have been acting within this framework from the very start. This also determines the secretary-general's and his representative [Staffan] de Mistura's role," Kosachyov said.

It is necessary now to continue working on a list of the Syrian opposition to put together a delegation for negotiations with the Syrian government, he said.

Kerry had said earlier that a ceasefire could be declared in Syria in January. Talking to journalists on Saturday, Kerry said that, considering that a ceasefire is stipulated in a UN Security Council resolution and is based on international law, everyone has the understanding that these agreements would be on the table in January, and a ceasefire could be fully enforced.

Read more: What’s behind John Kerry’s festive goodwill to the Kremlin?

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