MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed issues concerning the Syrian crisis, particularly the setup of de-escalation zones, with the permanent members of the national Security Council, the Kremlin press service said in a statement. The meeting’s participants also discussed the president’s recent meeting with the German chancellor and the Turkish leader, as well as the preparations for the Victory Day celebrations.
"The president informed the meeting’s participants on his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which took place earlier this week," the statement reads. Putin met with Merkel on May 2 and held talks with Erdogan on May 3. Both meetings took place in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
"The parties also exchanged views on the Syrian crisis, focusing on the decision to establish de-escalation zones, made on Thursday at the Astana meeting," the Kremlin press service added.
In Astana, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones in Syria. According to Alexander Lavrentyev, Russian Special Presidential Representative for settling the Syrian crisis and head of the Russian delegation to the Astana talks, these zones will be established for six months, however, this period could be automatically extended for another six months. The Russian diplomat also said that the memorandum stipulated that a ceasefire in the designated areas would be declared starting from May 6.
Participants in the national Security Council’s meeting also discussed domestic social and economic issues, as well as the preparations for the upcoming Victory Day celebrations, the Kremlin press service said.