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Russia’s growing role in Middle East sparks attention worldwide - expert

September 29, 2015, 21:50 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. The migration crisis in Europe and the continuing expansion of the terrorist Islamic State have forced the United States and the West to take a closer look at Russia’s growing role in the Middle East and to consider in earnest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for creating an international coalition to fight against the IS, the chairman of Russia’s Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Fyodor Lukyanov, has said.

"That’s how world policy-making works. Discussions over settling regional crises may go on indefinitely, but when one country, in this particular case, Russia, suddenly gets active and begins to provide military-technical assistance to Syrian government troops, the interest in that country and its proposals soars immeasurably," Lukyanov told TASS in an interview shortly after Putin finished his statement at the 70th UN General Assembly session.

"That the tonality of US and EU politicians’ statements regarding Russia’s participation in Middle Eastern affairs has changed for the better is a hard fact. Although the United States is adamant in its wish to see the regime of the Syria’s President Bashar Assad leave the political scene, US politicians have been saying in informal conversations Assad’s resignation today is not a high priority. This means that the process of developing coordinated decisions for struggle against the Islamic State is underway," Lukyanov said.

The Russian president has sent two more important messages to the international community, Lukyanov said. "Firstly, he called for preserving the power of veto in the UN Security Council, because over the past 70 years this mechanism has proved effective enough to preserve peace. Secondly, Putin for the first time raised in public the theme of erosion affecting the principles of international trade, for instance, the creation of economic blocs without coordination with the WTO, which abuses the principles of competitiveness and cardinally changes the rules of the game," Lukyanov said.

Putin’s speech was calm and non-confrontational even in the context of the no easy circumstances Russia has found itself due to the crisis in Ukraine, he added.

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