Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the Syrian people needed to decide whom they wanted to rule them, but that current President Bashar al-Assad should not count on Moscow for extra assistance. “We do not support the Assad regime,” he said. “It doesn't matter to Russia who leads Syria, all we want is for a proper end to the crisis in Syria.”
Lavrov added, however, that Moscow believed that the best option for Syria right now was the adoption of a plan by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which calls for Assad to remain in power, but to institute real reforms. “Both sides, the government and rebels, have had a part in the deaths of innocent civilians in Houla. The rebels control it, but the Syrian army surrounds it.” Lavrov was referring to the weekend massacre in the Syrian city, in which hundreds were reported killed and wounded.