MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. De-escalation zones in Syria should not turn into zones of other countries' influence, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, told journalists on Monday.
"When, with an active role of Russia, the Astana process was being created with the participation of three guarantor countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey), we were saying that this process must proceed under the UN auspices, implying that the de-escalation zones should have a strictly temporary nature," said Bogdanov, Russian president’s special envoy for the Middle East and Africa.
"The zones are necessary from the point of view of ending warfare, but at the same time it is impermissible to see the de-escalation zones turning into zones of influence of foreign states," Bogdanov said.
In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - de-escalation zones began to be set up in Syria in May 2017. In mid-September, the guarantor countries announced the establishment of all the four de-escalation zones.
De-escalation zones include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria.