Putin’s hopes and the Russian role in Syria peace talks


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he hoped the Astana talks on Syria would become a good basis for the negotiating process in Geneva after Russia used its power to force its view on the talks and accelerate finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.

The talks in Astana took place on January 23-24, with official representatives from Damascus, Russia, Iran and Turkey having taken part, as well as a delegation from the Syrian opposition.

The two-days talks ended with Russia, Turkey, and Iran making a joint statement about the consequences of the talks and agreeing on a mechanism to support a delicate ceasefire.

“We reaffirm our commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, non-sectarian and democratic State, as confirmed by the UN Security Council,” said the statement.

They added that there’s no military solution for the Syrian crisis, as Russia has previously stated.

“We express our conviction that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it can only be solved through a political process based on the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 in its entirety,” the statement added.

“We Decide to establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocations and determine all modalities of the ceasefire,” but no obligatory action or preventive ways were mentioned or taken in this matter as Assad regime and Iran’s militias continued their offensive on rural Damascus.

They also said they supported the willingness of the armed opposition groups to participate in the Geneva talks and that they were committed to “minimizing violence, building confidence, ensuring humanitarian access, protection and free movement of civilians.”

Putin’s hopes and Russia’s strategy

Russia sees these talks as a victory and a proof of the success of its strategy in Syria.

Putin said Wednesday he hoped the Astana talks on Syria would become a good basis for the negotiating process in Geneva.

“I consider it very important to note that the participants of the process in Astana formalized the impossibility of a military solution to the Syrian problem,” Putin said at a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

“And we very much hope that the negotiations in Astana will become a good basis for the continuation of the negotiating process in Geneva,” he said.