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Senior MP: Russian air operation is not interference in Syrian affairs

September 30, 2015, 16:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

US activity in Syria does not settle problems of the Syrian people but only worsens the situation in the region, the chairman of Russia's upper house International Affairs committee says

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© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Smityuk

MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Russia’s air strikes against terrorists in Syria is not interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, the chairman of Russia's upper house International Affairs committee said on Wednesday.

"We are not interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. We are not entering a risk zone where we could find ourselves pulled into long-term conflict where the lives of our military would be at risk," Konstantin Kosachev told Rossiya 24 television.

"It is only an air operation, of course in close coordination with ground operations of the Syrian army," he said, adding that the Syrian army bore the main burden on the ground.

Russia ‘"is not pursuing any national interests apart from ensuring the safety of its own nationals far away from the country," he added.

"There are no other interests that some attempt to arrogate to us — that we allegedly support the regime of al-Assad because we are selling weapons there, because we want to reach some agreements on oil and gas, use some territories for certain aims," he added, marking that this was the difference between the motives of Russia and the US-led coalition.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Federation Council upper house of Russia's parliament granted permission to the Russian president to use Russian armed forces in Syria.

"The Federation Council unanimously supported the president’s request with 162 votes in favour [of granting permission]," Russian Presidential Administration chief Sergey Ivanov said.

Russia would use only its air force in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s request, he said.

US activity in Syria just worsens situation in the region

US activity in Syria does not settle problems of the Syrian people but only worsens the situation in the region, a top parliamentarian from the Russian Federation Council told reporters on Wednesday.

"Measures taken on Syrian territory by the US and its allies have only worsened the situation, and it is visibly degrading," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the upper house International Affairs Committee.

He said the situation was degrading not due to "inefficiency of action by [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad in his anti-terrorist fight".

"This happens because they have to wage war on several directions, on several battle lines, and here the main enemy for Syria and the whole world — organized and lavishly financed terrorism - is eroding and disappearing," Kosachev said.

He expressed hope that "sooner or later the US will correct mistakes and will understand that its activity in the region does not solve either problems of the US itself or the problems of those people to whom they allegedly try to bring peace and democracy".

He said he hoped the US would realise "that real settlement of problems is only possible through creation of a maximally broad anti-terrorist coalition, the very format the Russian president suggested at the UN General Assembly".

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