Growing Russian criticism towards Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "made many mistakes" despite repeated calls from Moscow to the Syrian security forces and Syrian rebels to renounce violence and engage in dialogue, said Tuesday the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
"We believe that the Syrian leadership reacted badly to the early peaceful protests and that, despite numerous promises made to fulfill our calls, the authorities made many mistakes," said Lavrov during a pre-recorded interview to Kommersant FM radio.
"Things that currently go in the right direction are too late," continued the Russian Minister.
These comments come as there are more and more signs that Russia ceased its support for Bashar Assad, after a year of violence that left 9,100 dead, according to the Syrian opposition.
On Tuesday, Russia has expressed its willingness to support a statement by the UN Security Council proposed by envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, provided that this statement has no ultimatum.
Already last week, Lavrov accused Assad of making mistakes and being too slow in his reforms. But the latest comments by the Russian Minister show that Moscow did not like the behavior of the Syrian leadership since the beginning of the crisis.
So far, Russian officials had avoided mentioning publicly the possibility of a departure from power of the Syrian president, insisting that any solution to the crisis would require a political dialogue within Syria.
But on Tuesday, the Russian foreign minister said he would not oppose that an exile offer to Assad. " Assad will have to decide," Lavrov concluded.