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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russia has demonstrated the United States and its allies that the conflict between Syria’s government and the opposition can be solved only by diplomatic means, a Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday.
"Before Russia’s involvement, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were staking exclusively on a military solution to the Syrian crisis whereas we have been saying from the very beginning that there is no military solution in Syria that the conflict can be resolved only politically with participation of all parties," Alexey Pushkov, the chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel. "And our point of view has won the upper hand. We have really managed to prove that a political solution is needed."
A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.
An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.
The Kremlin press service said late on Monday after a telephone conversation between Russian and Syrian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad, that the two leaders agreed to withdraw the main part of Russia’s air group from that country as "the Russian Armed Forces had fulfilled the fundamental tasks, which had been assigned to them." Russia however will keep an air flights control center in Syria to monitor the observation of the ceasefire regime, the Kremlin said. An order was issued to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to begin troops pullout starting March 15.