“A sustainable decline in the number of violations of the ceasefire” in Syria, said Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi of Russia’s General Staff, who was speaking in Moscow on Tuesday. He was reporting on the outcome of the first joint operational group meeting in Astana that was held on Monday.
Sergei Rudskoi, Lieutenant-General, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): “The Russian Federation is fulfilling its obligations and is continuing to work to maintain the ceasefire and spread [it] through the whole of the Syrian territory. Military experts from Russia, Turkey and Iran held a constructive meeting in Astana on February 6 this year in order to improve the arrangements for the ceasefire. Representatives of the UN also participated in the meeting. All participants mentioned a sustainable decline in the number of ceasefire violations. The Russian project regulations concerning a joint operational group for the consolidation of the ceasefire regime have almost been agreed upon. It is supposed to be signed during the next meeting in Astana”.
Sergei Rudskoi, Lieutenant-General, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): “All participants of the meeting supported an additional protocol for the agreement that was signed earlier. It was worked out by Russian and Turkish experts and contained certain measures focused on improving the truce. A regulation concerning a district joined to the peace process was also approved and presented by the Russian side, which determines the relations between Syrian officials; and the areas that are under the control of armed groups during the transition period was also approved. These documents were sent to the opposition and Syrian government for approval”.
Sergei Rudskoi, Lieutenant-General, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): “During this meeting the determination of which districts are controlled by ISIS and al-Nusra Front was almost finished. There are certain irrelevant disagreements that will be agreed upon soon. It really helps to separate the opposition from the terrorist groups. Besides, the representatives of Jordan who spoke about the situation in the south of Syria in detail, were also present at [this] meeting for the first time. They emphasised that the majority of armed groups support the ceasefire, and those who didn’t join the [ceasefire] regime, are ready to do so in the nearest future. We suggested creating Syrian government and opposition working groups to discuss the preparation of the Syrian constitution in Astana. Later, on this basis it will be possible to form a constitutional commission that will complete the main Syrian law [statutes] and determine the mechanism of its adoption. In general the participants of the meeting supported our initiative”.