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MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. Russia pursues a goal of preventing militants of Russian descent to return home after fighting in Syria, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the Israeli Channel 2 broadcaster ahead of his visit to the country scheduled for November 10.
"Those people (militants of Russian descend who went to fight in Syria - TASS) return perfect ‘zombies’ from such trips. They come back as licensed killers, terrorists," Medvedev said. "We are quite opposed to the idea that after having fought in Syria, they would unleash something like this here."
"That is why, our task is to get them to stay there," he added, pointing out that thousands of Russian nationals and citizens from other post-Soviet republics were fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) and other radical groups.
The prime minister said that "our position can be explained first of all by a need to secure national interests, rather than just by an increasing threat of destabilization in the Middle East."
Russia’s second goal in Syria is to facilitate the country’s authorities in solving the crisis, he said.
"Syria’s government requested our country’s leadership to provide them with military assistance in restoring the order," Medvedev said. "We have a corresponding treaty with them and our country’s president - the Supreme Commander-in-Chief - took the decision to provide them with this military assistance in, naturally, limited proportions with due regard to our national interests."
When asked about the situation in Syria, the Russian prime minister emphasized that several years before Syria had been perhaps "the calmest and the most civilized Arab state in the Middle East."
"The Syrian state ensured, more or less, a balance of interests for all ethnic and religious groups," Medvedev said. "Afterwards, what was done is done. It is sad and it is a source of destabilization throughout the Middle East.".