Putin : Russia Provides Significant Military Support to Syria

An International Anti-terrorism Coalition is Achievable
5 September، 2015
Moscow, SANA

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia provides serious support to Syria, including militarily, in the framework of fighting terrorism.

“We consider various possibilities, but now what you have mentioned [participation in military operations against ISIS] is not yet on our agenda,” said Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum held in the Russian city Vladivostok.

“Saying that we are ready to do it today is premature, but we are providing Syria with rather serious support and equipment and training forces with armament,” he added, noting that Russia will continue consultations with “our Syrian friends and the countries in the region.”

He noted that the Russian support is being provided in accordance with contracts signed with Syria 5 to 7 years ago, “and we are fully implementing them.”

Putin questioned the affectivity of the airstrikes carried out by the US against ISIS as they have “yielded no tangible results so far,” adding that Russia has taken several steps to form an international anti-terrorism coalition.

“We took specific steps, and we did that in public. We really want to form an international coalition against terrorism, and to that end we consulted with our American partners,” said Putin, noting that Russia had also consulted with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.

The Russian President pointed out that the preliminary contacts made by Russia have showed that the task of forming such an international coalition is achievable.

He added that if it is right now unfeasible to carry out joint action directly in the battlefield by all the countries concerned in combating terrorism, “they have at least to coordinate among themselves, and we are making efforts in that direction.”

Putin affirmed that combating terrorism should be in parallel to the political process in Syria, “and by the way, President Bashar al-Assad is willing to take certain steps in this regard, including holding parliamentary elections and making contacts with the peaceful opposition to get it involved in administration.”

The Russian President blamed the emerging immigration crisis from Syria on the “wrong policies” of the West, saying people are fleeing ISIS and not the Syrian government.

Reem/H. Said

Lavrov: It was never secret that Russia provides Syria with military equipment to fight terrorism
Moscow, SANA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed to U.S. State Secretary John Kerry that it has never been kept secret that Russia supplies Syria with military equipment in support of its efforts in combating terrorism.

This came in Lavrov’s response to Kerry’s inquiry about Russia’s assistance to the Syrian government.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Kerry sought clarification about the Russian aid to the Syrian government in support of the latter for fighting terrorism during his latest phone call with his Russian counterpart on Saturday.

Lavrov stressed that Russia always provides such assistance to Syria and has done this before, adding that the Russian side has never before kept it secret that it provides Syria with military equipment to help in combating terrorism, according to Zakharova.

She pointed out that Lavrov discussed with Kerry the issue of boosting the effectiveness of counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East.

Lavrov, she added, reminded Kerry that Moscow had repeatedly called upon the coalition led by Washington to cooperate with the Syrian authorities under the UN auspices to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) given the fact that Syrian army is the most effective force that is facing ISIS and the other terrorist organizations on the ground.

Manar al-Frieh/H. Said

Lavrov and Kerry discuss situation in Syria and combating ISIS
Moscow, SANA

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. State Secretary John Kerry discussed in a phone call the crisis in Syria and combating ISIS.

The Ministry said in a statement that the two discussed various issues related to the situation in Syria and neighboring countries, and combating ISIS and other terrorist organizations, in addition to prospects of cooperation for supporting UN efforts to launch a political process in Syria based on the Geneva communiqué.

The statement added that the two sides agreed to maintain communication regarding resolving the crisis in Syria.

Hazem Sabbagh