Moscow (SANA) ~ Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia provides serious support to Syria, including militarily, in the framework of fighting terrorism.

“We consider various possibilities, but now what you have mentioned [participation in military operations against ISIS] is not yet on our agenda,” said Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum held in the Russian city Vladivostok.

“Saying that we are ready to do it today is premature, but we are providing Syria with rather serious support and equipment and training forces with armament,” he added, noting that Russia will continue consultations with “our Syrian friends and the countries in the region.”

He noted that the Russian support is being provided in accordance with contracts signed with Syria 5 to 7 years ago, “and we are fully implementing them.”

Putin questioned the affectivity of the airstrikes carried out by the US against ISIS as they have “yielded no tangible results so far,” adding that Russia has taken several steps to form an international anti-terrorism coalition.

“We took specific steps, and we did that in public. We really want to form an international coalition against terrorism, and to that end we consulted with our American partners,” said Putin, noting that Russia had also consulted with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.

The Russian President pointed out that the preliminary contacts made by Russia have showed that the task of forming such an international coalition is achievable.

He added that if it is right now unfeasible to carry out joint action directly in the battlefield by all the countries concerned in combating terrorism, “they have at least to coordinate among themselves, and we are making efforts in that direction.”

Putin affirmed that combating terrorism should be in parallel to the political process in Syria, “and by the way, President Bashar al-Assad is willing to take certain steps in this regard, including holding parliamentary elections and making contacts with the peaceful opposition to get it involved in administration.”

The Russian President blamed the emerging immigration crisis from Syria on the “wrong policies” of the West, saying people are fleeing ISIS and not the Syrian government.

SANA, Reem/H. Said
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