Russia will not reach any agreement with the United States on the future of Syria at the cost of Syria itself or Moscow’s interests and principles, President Vladimir Putin has said.
During his annual Q&A session on Thursday, a journalist asked Putin if there would be a “grand deal” with the US on Syria as the country begins to recover from years of hostilities and destruction.
“What do you mean ‘a grand deal’? Sounds like some commercial act. No. We don’t sell out our allies, our interests or our principles,” Putin said.
He said that Russia is willing to negotiate a political transition in Syria with various stakeholders. “Can it be done? I believe it can, provided there is goodwill of everyone involved in the conflict.”
Putin highlighted Turkey and Iran as Russia’s immediate partners in resolving the Syrian crisis, but said countries like the US, Israel, Egypt, and Jordan have legitimate interests in what happens in Syria as do the European nations, which were hurt by mass migration triggered by it. “We have to work together on it,” he stressed.
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