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Germany puts onus on Russia to implement Syria deal

Germany said Friday’s agreement to end hostilities in Syria must be put into action, putting the onus primarily on Russia which Berlin accused of scuppering peace talks through its military offensive.

“The words must be followed with deeds. And here the government puts Russia first under the obligation to do so,” said Christiane Wirzt, government spokeswoman.

“Through its military action on the side of Assad’s regime, Russia had recently seriously compromised the political process. Now there is a chance to save this process with the expectation that in the period before a full ceasefire, there would not be heightened attacks,” she added.

World powers agreed early Friday to implement a “nationwide cessation of hostilities” in Syria beginning in a week’s time.

The West has been trading barbs with Moscow over its bombing campaign in the opposition-held city of Aleppo, which observers say has killed 500 people since it began on February 1.

A first round of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva collapsed earlier this month over the attacks on Aleppo.

The rebels say they will not return to talks, pencilled in for February 25, unless government sieges and air strikes end.