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MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. The Russian military operation in Syria is, above all, the protection of Russia’s interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"I want to thank you for the work you are doing in Syria. I must tell you that, and you know it only too well, I spoke about this in public on numerous occasions, this is not just the assistance to the Syrian people and the Syrian leadership. This is the direct work to protect Russia’s interests, the interests of our citizens. You yourself know that, you must know that," Putin said while presenting state awards to Russian military servicemen.
Russia’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria is having a positive influence on the situation in the Middle East, Vladimir Putin added.
"I would say that your work there is considerably influencing the situation in the entire region. Naturally, your mission there cannot turn the tide. That is why your colleagues are doing their jobs in other areas. The Syrians will go on fighting and we can have only limited influence on them. But all the positive things there are taking place thanks to you and thanks to your comrades-in-arms who are fighting there in the sky over Syria and, as a matter of fact, are commanding Syrian armed units," Putin said at a ceremony of awarding the Russian military with state decorations.
He thanked all Russian servicemen taking part in the operation in Syria.