LONDON, September 25. /TASS/. Russia’s participation in resolving the Syrian crisis again projects Moscow as a player on the global stage, the Financial Times newspaper has reported.
"The military surge in Syria has enabled Mr Putin to shift his image, a little, from pariah to powerbroker," the British newspaper reports. "However queasy the US may be about Mr Putin’s intentions, he has also made himself a figure Washington cannot ignore."
The Russian leader wants to combat the Islamic State terrorist group, seen as a threat that could blow back to Russia’s North Caucasus region, the report says. "And here he perceives a common interest with the US - and potential diplomatic opening."
The White House has confirmed that Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama will have a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's session on Monday upon a request from the Russian side.
The armed conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has reportedly claimed more than 200,000 lives up until now. The violence has also forced 4 million Syrians to take refuge in neighbouring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.6 million others have been displaced within Syria, according to the United Nations.
The Western countries back certain groups of the armed opposition which is also fighting against the Syrian government.