Putin says works ‘easily’ with both US, Damascus on Syria crisis
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s unwavering position on the crisis in Syria, where it has steadfastly resisted calls for Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, has facilitated its negotiations with both Washington and Damascus on the issue.
“We find it easy to work with both (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad and the American side,” Putin said in the trailer of an upcoming television documentary released Saturday. “We don’t suck up to anybody, nor do we change our position.”
Putin did not elaborate on the specifics of Russia’s cooperation with the US and Syria in the trailer, which contained a segment of an interview filmed last week following the Russian leader’s annual press conference.
The full documentary, entitled “World Order”, will be aired Sunday night on Russian state television.
Moscow has staunchly supported Assad’s beleaguered regime while the West had insisted the Syrian leader must step down to facilitate a political solution to a crisis that has killed more than 250,000 people and forced millions from their home.
On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously supported a plan to end the Syrian civil war by summoning the regime and the rebels fighting to topple it since 2011 to the negotiating table.
Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria on September 30 at the request of al-Assad that Moscow says is targeting Islamic State and other jihadists groups mixed in among the rebel factions.
But the US and its allies say Moscow’s strikes are chiefly aimed at Western-backed moderate rebels fighting Assad.
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