Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the presence of foreign forces in Syria and praised the “considerable damage” done to rebels and jihadists, by receiving his ally Bashar al-Assad in Russia, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday.
During this rare one-on-one meeting between the two men, which took place on Monday, Mr. Putin estimated that “terrorists have suffered considerable damage” in Syria, where government forces control “90% of the territory “.
Mr. Putin, however, estimated, according to a Kremlin statement released on Tuesday, that Syria’s “main problem” is foreign interference on its soil.
“The foreign armed forces, without a UN decision, without your agreement, are present in certain territories of the country, which is manifestly contrary to international law and does not allow us to make the maximum efforts to consolidate the country and progress. on the road to its reconstruction, ”Putin said.
Putin at the bedside of Assad
The Russian president also assured that Bashar al-Assad was doing “a lot” to “establish a dialogue with your political opponents”.
Bashar al-Assad praised the “significant results obtained by Russia and Syria in the liberation of the territories occupied by the combatants and in the destruction of terrorism”, according to the Russian transcription of his remarks by the Kremlin.
He admitted, however, that the “political processes” undertaken to end the war in Syria “have come to a halt.” He attributed this judgment in particular to “the destructive influence” of “certain States”.
“Some states have imposed sanctions on the Syrian people, which can be characterized as anti-human, anti-state and illegitimate,” he added.
Russia intervened militarily in Syria in 2015, allowing Bashar al-Assad’s forces to regain most of the territory lost to rebels and jihadists. Moscow has military bases there.
Several rounds of UN-sponsored talks have failed to stem the violence in Syria, which has claimed an estimated 500,000 lives and displaced millions since the conflict began in 2011.