State Department comments on complicated situation with Russia and Syria

Russia's support of the Syrian regime and its support of a conference meant to broker peace with the Syrian opposition makes the matter a complicated situation, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, made the remarks on Monday during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to a question about the seemingly schizophrenic approach Russia has to the matter in Syria. While Russia was willing to sell missiles to Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced support for a Geneva conference that could help Syria transition away from Assad's regime. Psaki said the situation with Russia was complicated.

"We know that, and we have been very vocal about our disapproval... (Secretary of State John Kerry) has, we have from the podium - of Russian support for the Syrian regime, whether that's through arms or through other financial means," Psaki said. "But at the same time, the reason that they play an important role here is because of their connection to the regime. And the secretary said this morning that his last conversation with the foreign minister, he reiterated his commitment and his belief that the conference is an important step, his commitment to moving forward with that."

Psaki said that while there are some areas of agreement and some areas of disagreement with Russia, what is most important is the transition of Syria to a new government.

"What's important is, if we don't get back to the table, if we don't move towards a political transition, then we'll be stuck in this violent stalemate that we see is happening in Syria right now," Psaki said.