US to lift Russia’s sanctions for cooperation in Syria

US to lift Russia's sanctions for cooperation in Syria

Since the United States needs cooperation with Russia on Syria Washington would have to make concessions to Moscow, including the removal of sanctions, in the long run, an article in The Wall Street Journal read.

Recently, US Secretary of State John Kerry has been a frequent visitor to Russia. Washington is increasingly demonstrating readiness to cooperate with Moscow on the Syrian settlement.

According to media reports, during the recent visit, Kerry offered Russia to establish a joint US-Russian group to share operative information and intelligence data to coordinate actions against terrorists.

Moscow is unlikely to accept the deal since coordinated actions on the Syrian settlement would require a partnership between Russia and the US. And partnership is impossible amid sanctions.

Russia has reasons for optimism because the US has become flexible on the issue. A year ago Washington ruled out any cooperation with Russia in the Middle East.

In addition, the determination of the European Union to keep the sanctions in place is now challenged, especially after the US has focused on Syria and outsourced the Ukrainian settlement to Germany. Thus, Russia hopes that its participation in the Syrian settlement would sway Washington and Berlin toward a more accommodating line, the article read.

John Kerry was in Moscow when a terrorist attack in France’s Nice occurred.

Many experts stressed that the fight against terrorism requires global efforts, including cooperation between the US and Russia.

“Currently, terrorism is global. Terrorist cells are not only in Syria, they are across the globe. In order to defeat terrorism we need global cooperation,” political analyst Georgiy Fedorov told the Russian online newspaper Vzglyad.

Steps to revive Syria truce and peace talks

U.S. and Russian officials said Friday they have reached an agreement on steps designed to pave the way for retrieving Syria truce and resume peace talks, but top officials declined to detail the specific measures involved.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, without elaborating, said implementing the steps could address two key problems: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime’s disregard of a February cease-fire agreement, and attempts by some extremists to cloak their attacks by intermingling with opposition groups supported by the U.S.

The talks were the latest in two days of meetings in Moscow, aimed at salvaging what little remains of the tattered cease-fire.

At the start of the talks Thursday, Mr. Kerry presented a proposal for closer military cooperation in Syria that would include joint strikes against militant group Nusra Front. In exchange, Russia would agree to use its influence to ground Syria’s air force, which has continued to pound civilian population centers

But it was unclear late Friday which elements of the proposal were part of the agreement reached in Moscow.