MOSCOW, February 15. Russia decides in Syria with the specific task of protecting its national interests and does not plan endless operation in this country. This was stated by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in an interview with Time magazine.
Medvedev: Russia will make decisions on operations in Syria depending on developments
“We have no plans – and the President said, my colleagues said, and I want to say again – this infinite presence in Syria,” – said Medvedev.
According to him, the Russian Federation executes in Syria “absolutely limited, specific task, based on the protection of national interests and at the request of the President (Bashar al -) Assad”. “Why not it will determine the extent of the presence of the Russian army, the Russian armed forces there and the Russian authorities, Supreme commander and all who are involved in this process”, – concluded Medvedev. He recalled that Moscow’s interests are “extremists, terrorists infiltrated from Syria into the territory of the Russian Federation”. “When there number of fighters, with the origin from Russia and Central Asian countries, the thousands are a real threat for us. That’s why we took this decision (about a military operation),” – said Medvedev.
“Of course, we wish that Syria remained in its former borders as a single state,” continued the Prime Minister, commenting on the words of Assad that the ultimate objective of Damascus is the liberation of the whole territory of Syria. According to Medvedev, the need to preserve Syria is understood not only in Russia but also in Europe and the USA.
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“None of us wants the new Libya, which is split into several parts, or simply chaos, when at the head of those or other territories are warlords, simply put – criminals, whatever the religious rhetoric they were covered,” explained the head of the government of the Russian Federation.
In this regard, Moscow intends to continue contacts with partners in the Syrian settlement, stating that the dialogue, no matter how difficult it may be, “has been developed”. “This inspires some cautious optimism that it will be possible to agree about the future – how will the settlement process in Syria, a civil dialogue, its principles, and the parties to the ceasefire”, – concluded Medvedev.
According to the Prime Minister, if al-Assad with the help of Russia, USA or Europe “will sit at the table with those with whom you can negotiate (and this circle have yet to definitively identify), and agree on the future political system of Syria on democratic transformation process, perhaps, about their own role and place in this process, because otherwise it would be strange – at this point everything should be completed”.
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At the same time, Medvedev stressed that we need to agree with the ideological opposition to Assad, which is part of the elite of Syria, but not with the extremists.
“You can generally distinguish Igilance or Daisetta from members of “Jaish al-Islam” or “Dzhabhat EN-nusra”? – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that the degree of religious differences such thugs and terrorists “is very conditional, they disperse from each other for different reasons: more money to pay someone with someone quarreled”. “So we very difficult to distinguish from the not very moderate very moderate, good and bad,” explained the Prime Minister.
Medvedev sees the threat that terrorist model may be the only form of government in the middle East, “when some people just cut off the head… collect tribute and all returns, conditionally, to VII century of our era.” “What is really dangerous, so I think it’s not so important religious difference between these extremists,” he concluded.
Human rights in Syria
Medvedev also noted that the findings of the UN Commission to investigate possible human rights violations in Syria in need of careful study.
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“It is necessary to carefully study the report and the evidence there given,” said Russian Prime Minister. “Of course, if there are solid proof, they must get an international legal assessment”, – said Medvedev. According to him, “all the data received are to be assessed”. “Here we are absolutely open to us to discuss it”, – concluded the Prime Minister.
Commenting on Russian-Syrian relations, the head of the Cabinet stressed that the father and predecessor of the current President Bashar al-Assad Hafez al-Assad was “conditional ally of the Soviet Union”. In this case, Moscow has never been such advanced relations with Damascus, Riyadh, Ankara or Paris. “Here they helped the development of the state (Syria), and then in an instant changed the position,” – said Medvedev. He compared this with the situation in Libya. “Who was among the closest friends of the unfortunate Muammar Gaddafi? And then suddenly the situation has changed,” drew a parallel Prime Minister. Medvedev concluded that the issue was “responsible behaviour”, and not “who we call ally.”
Medvedev recalled his visit to Damascus (during the presidency in 2010). “We have a normal, decent relationship, but this is not some allied relations. If we have a contractual relationship, we, of course, its contractual obligations trying to accomplish. If someone asks for help, and we take decisions like that”, – said the Prime Minister.
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On 8 February in Geneva the UN Commission to investigate possible human rights violations in Syria has presented a new report, according to which in Syria in the places of detention and the detention of prisoners committed torture and murder.
Thus, according to the Commission, the responsibility of the opposition as terrorist and armed groups, including the terrorist group “Islamic state” (banned in Russia) and government forces. In turn, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has categorically rejected accusations by the UN and Western powers for war crimes, characterizing them as “politicized and unsubstantiated”.
Prime Minister of Russia warns NATO from carrying out military ground operations in Syria. “Don’t do that, and even scare this is not necessary”, – he said in an interview with Time magazine.
“Don’t need no permanent war (in Syria), and Russia in no way would like to participate”, – assured the head of the Cabinet of Ministers.
He recalled his words about terrestrial military operations: “once the military operation (and I was the Supreme commander and took military decisions) descends from heaven to earth, on the earth soldiers appear, first in SWAT, then in the form of some individual military units, this has dragged on”.
Medvedev urged to remember what happened in Afghanistan with American military forces is “still to go”. “Therefore, once a conflict enters a stage of terrestrial military operations, he becomes infinite, that is dangerous”, – said the Prime Minister.
Medvedev cited the U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry: “If Russia and Iran will not contribute to reconciliation, we Arab friends will carry out land operation”. “That’s nothing. He its partners, i.e. us, frightens it? He wants the United States stuck again, this time in Syria?” – Medvedev was surprised.
ABOUT GROUPING “DZHEBHAT EN-NUSRA” AND “ISLAMIC STATE”
The radical Islamist group “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” (“Front of victory”), associated with a terrorist network “al-Qaeda” was created in 2011 on the territory of Syria. Our key objectives “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” named the overthrow of the regime of Bashar al-Assad with the subsequent establishment of an Islamic Emirate in Syria. On December 29, the Supreme court recognized “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” a terrorist organization and banned its activities in Russia.
“Islamic state” (ISIS) – an Islamist terrorist organization operating inside Iraq and Syria.
Established on 15 October 2006 by the merger of 11 radical Sunni groups. The core group forming the militants, who fought with American troops during their stay in Iraq and with the forces of the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
The IG recognized as a terrorist organization in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Turkey, Egypt, UAE, India, Indonesia, and Russia (29 December 2014).