Putin in Syria: ‘Only A Slim Window Of Opportunity For The USA And Russia To Cooperate’

September 23, 2015
Demonstration in Kafranbel, Syria, on September 12, 2015

Russian officials have brushed aside questions about Russia’s military deployment to Syria and warned ominously that there is “only a slim window of opportunity for the USA and Russia to cooperate in Syria.”

The previous post in our Putin in Syria blog can be found here.

‘Russia Will Never Negotiate Syria’s Fate With Anyone’

Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reports that Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, has declined to comment on a report in The Wall Street Journal on the preparation of two military bases for Russian troops near Latakia, Syria.

The Interpreter translates:

“Well reach out to The Wall Street Journal. The President has spoken about everything we are doing in Syria. I have spoken about this in detail, as have our other representatives. You know, read what they write in Germany, in France, in America, the same as in Ukraine, on who is violating the Minsk agreements. This itself doesn’t mean that this is a sincere presentation of a position.”
Dmitry Peskov, President Putin’s press secretary, told reporters today that “Russia will never negotiate over Syria’s fate with anyone.”

The Interpreter translates:

“The Syrian people decide the fate of Syria and are taking appropriate action,” said Peskov in response to a request to comment on reports in American media of discussions between Russia and the USA on a possible political transition in Syria, including the possibility of replacing the president of Syria, Bashar Assad, with another leader from the Syrian Alawite community.
Alexei Pushkov, head of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, tweeted today that there is only a “slim window of opportunity for the USA and Russia to cooperate in Syria.”

Translation: There is only a slim “window of opportunity” for the USA and Russia to cooperate in Syria. But they are restrained by sharp disagreements over Assad, Ukraine and US sanctions.

— Pierre Vaux