Russia is Syria's “true friend” for their ongoing aid to the ruling regime, Syria's first lady Asma Assad said.
Speaking in an interview with Russian state media outlet Rossia-24, Mrs Assad praised aid from the Kremlin for “loosening the chokehold on ordinary Syrians.”
She compared the sanctions placed on Syria by Western nations to those placed on Iraq in the 1990s.
“The only difference is that today nobody can claim that they did not see the consequences on ordinary Syria people," Assad said. "You have to ask yourself, where is the benefit of sanctioning basic food commodities? Where is the benefit of blocking vital access to medicines and healthcare equipment?"
“What's most ironic is that [these
sanctions] were imposed by the so called 'Friends of Syria,'" she
Mrs Assad, a former investment banker, said the measures had caused untold poverty and suffering throughout the country.
“The situation would be much, much harder if it hadn't been for Syria's true friends, who have stepped in and helped offset some of the economic and political consequences of these sanctions,” Assad said. “In this regard, Russia has been tremendous. It has and continues to provide invaluable humanitarian and economic assistance to Syria. This is something we'll never forget.”
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Sunday that Britain and the United States were considering imposing extra measures against Damascus and Moscow. The additional sanctions would seek to ensure that Syria — and its Russian allies — would remain under pressure to halt the bombing of Aleppo.
Syria's first lady also used the interview to condemn the Western media, claiming that many news outlets had “an agenda.”
"Why were the children in the village of Zara'a [which were reportedly killed and kidnapped by the Al-Nusra Front] not covered in the media as well as the tragedy of Aylan Kurdi [the toddler who was photographed after drowning in the Mediterranean Sea,] and Omran [Daqneesh, the child who was photographed in an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble in Aleppo]?” Assad said. “The Western media have chosen to focus on these tragedies because they conform to their agenda.”
The clip makes part of a documentary — "Asma Assad: Between War and Peace" — which will be shown in Russia on Saturday.
Asma Assad's husband, Bashar Assad, gave a similar interview to Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda on Friday. He used the chance to praise the Kremlin, declaring that Moscow was involved in the Syria conflict for "morals, not self-interest."
The Al-Nusra Front is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.