The withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Syria will put pressure on the President of the Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad in talks with the Syrian opposition on a peaceful settlement, which are held in Geneva.
“If the statement on withdrawal of Russian troops will be implemented, it will increase pressure on the regime [of Syrian President Bashar] Assad, for final and serious negotiations in Geneva on political transition period”, — said Steinmeier.
The statement of the head of the German foreign Ministry was the first reaction among the leadership of European States or the USA to the statement of the Russian President on the withdrawal of troops from Syria. Earlier question about ethe decision of the leadership of Russia sounded at the press briefing in the White house. The official White house spokesman John Ernest said that have not seen reports of the decision of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
At the same time, two U.S. officials on condition of anonymity told the Agency that in Washington do not yet see signs of a withdrawal of Russian troops. According to them, the decision of Putin was not known in advance and it was a surprise for them.
Representatives of the Syrian opposition, in turn, said that the reduction of the presence of Russian HQs in the country will positively affect the situation in Syria. With the decision, the rebels called a surprise. The main representative of the Syrian opposition at the talks in Geneva, Mohamed Allouch said that while “there are no signs of implementation” of the withdrawal of Russian troops.
On Monday the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the head of the defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu and foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instructed from 15 March to begin the withdrawal of the main forces of Russia from Syria. According to him, the tasks assigned to the Ministry of defence were generally fulfilled.