Russia Proposes March 1 Ceasefire in Syria, Western Official Says

No agreement reached on Russian offer, official adds.

Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo, February 4, 2016.
Reuters

A Western official said on Wednesday that Russia has made a proposal to begin a ceasefire in Syria on March 1, but the official said no agreement has been reached on the Russian offer. 

The official said the United States has concerns about some elements of the Russian proposal. 

Russia's UN ambassador said Moscow has been holding "very important" discussions with the United States on a possible ceasefire, and hoped a meeting of key nations in Munich on Thursday will pave the way for new peace talks.

Vitaly Churkin told reporters after Security Council consultations on the Russian-backed Syrian offensive in Aleppo that "we're not about to be apologetic about what we're doing."

He said "hopefully if and when the situation (in Aleppo) is corrected there will be more optimism for a political settlement."

New Zealand and Spain called Wednesday's council meeting and urged serious consideration of "a humanitarian pause" to enable assistance to get through to Aleppo.

Churkin said Russia would welcome a discussion on a pause "as something leading to a long-term permanent cease-fire."