VILNIUS, October 21. /TASS/. The visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow is a signal to the West over the role Russia could play in resolving the crisis in this country, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy at the Kaunas-based Vytautas Magnus University Giedrius Cesnakas told Lithuania’s ELTA news agency.
"By inviting Assad to Moscow, Russia sends the West a signal: Moscow is the actor that should be present at the negotiating table on Syria’s future," he said. The political scientist believes this is, above all, a signal to the West and the United States that "it is necessary to keep up the dialogue [with Moscow], since it continues to be an important player in the region." "We should not forget that Russia played a successful role in the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, and the current visit is yet another manifestation of influence," Cesnakas said.
According to him, the leaders of the two countries must have synchronized the possible stances at the forthcoming talks, which "will be later presented to Western political process partners." This indicates that al-Assad not only continues to be self-confident, but also intends to take part in the negotiations on Syria’s future, Cesnakas added.