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Russian FM has no 'Special Expectations' for Syria Talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has shrugged off U.S. allegations that Russia has directed cyber attacks against American political organizations. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has shrugged off U.S. allegations that Russia has directed cyber attacks against American political organizations. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday he had no "special expectations" for talks in Switzerland this weekend on the Syrian crisis, as violence continues to rage in Aleppo.

Lavrov is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and top diplomats from the United Nations and regional powers in Lausanne on Saturday, for the first talks on Syria since Washington halted bilateral negotiations with Moscow on a truce earlier this month.

"I do not have any kind of special expectations," Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying.

Russian air power is currently backing up Syrian regime forces in a ferocious assault on rebel-held eastern Aleppo that has sparked accusations of potential war crimes from the West.

The sides will look at how to revive a short-lived ceasefire that Moscow and Washington hammered out, but Lavrov insisted Russia does not plan to present new initiatives on ways to resolve the conflict, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives since it erupted in 2011.

Instead, he said Moscow would call for "concrete steps" to implement earlier U.N. resolutions and the now defunct U.S.-Russia ceasefire deal.

Staffan de Mistura, Syria's envoy to the U.N., will attend Saturday's talks, along with the top diplomats of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar -- all backers of Syrian opposition forces.

Hopes are low that the talks will lead to a breakthrough in resolving the five-year conflict..

Copyright (2016) AFP. All rights reserved.

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