Illustration: iStock
Illustration: iStock

Russia will not accept “artificial deadlines” for the Syrian peace process, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday, claiming they threaten Moscow-backed efforts to end the conflict.

“I don’t believe in artificial deadlines,” Lavrov told the MED Dialogues conference in Rome.

“Those who insist on [United Nations envoy] Staffan [de Mistura] setting a deadline, they want only one thing, to ruin the Astana process and come back to some regime-change logic.”

The next round of talks on Syria’s conflict is being held in the Kazakh capital Astana on November 28-29 as part of a peace process established in early 2017 by Russia and Iran, which are supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, and opposition backer Turkey.

The Astana process was launched after Russia’s military intervention in Syria tipped the balance in Assad’s favor. It has gradually eclipsed the Geneva process, an earlier UN-sponsored negotiations framework.

– With reporting from Agence France-Presse