The British foreign office doubted Putin’s ability to control Assad

The President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the moment does not control the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. The Prime Ministers of Britain Philip Hammond stated to the Ministerial meeting of the EU Council in Brussels, the press service of the Ministry.

“We expect President Putin, who had offered Assad a serious military and political support, will be able to control it. At the moment it is unlikely that he controls Assad,” said Hammond.

The Minister noted that the EU needs to Moscow controlled “their Syrian customers.” “They [the Russian authorities] must ensure that the Syrian government comply with the commitments that Russia in their name announced during the meeting of the International support group in Syria and which form the basis of the current cessation of hostilities”, — said the head of the Foreign Ministry.

In his statement, Hammond also touched on the relations between Russia and Europe. According to him, the EU needs to maintain relations with Moscow, however, cannot lose sight of the challenges that Russia pushing European “values and security”. “We should firmly defend their position and to defend our principles, values and borders in Europe”, he concluded.

In mid-February, Hammond called Putin the only man who can stop the war in Syria. “There is one person on the planet who can put an end to the civil war in Syria, making a phone call, and that is Mr. Putin”, — said the Minister. According to him, the question of whether Assad is in power, depends on the willingness of Moscow to use its influence for his removal.

The United States and Russia agreed on ceasefire in Syria on 22 February. The action entered into force on 27 February. The agreement says that the fighting in Syria will continue only against terrorist organizations identified by the UN security Council. Two weeks have passed since the ceasefire, the Syrian authorities and the representatives of the so-called moderate opposition has repeatedly accused each other of violations.