Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Washington is using the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) “almost as an ally in fighting against the Syrian regime,” while speaking at a press conference alongside his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva in Lisbon on Saturday.
“So, the main [US] aim now is to once again to change the Syrian regime, but not to defeat IS,” he concluded, adding that IS serves as an excuse for American presence in the region.
Lavrov also responded to comments made by the British Chief of the General Staff Mark Carleton-Smith who said that Russia is a “far greater threat to the UK” than IS.
“Does Russia have a red line for statements like those that the British Chief of the General Staff allowed himself to make? You know, we cannot forbid anyone to demonstrate their intellectual and political skills,” Lavrov said.
The foreign minister also commented on the as-yet-unknown whereabouts of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, saying: “The British government and the British intelligence services have something to hide.”
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva went on to speak about the case of RIA Novosti Ukraine head Kirill Vishinsky, who is currently awaiting trial in Ukraine, saying that he “condemns any attempts to arrest people for their political views.”
Video credit: Ruptly