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German foreign minister praises Russia’s constructive role in Syria settlement

March 27, 11:27 UTC+3 BERLIN
"The truce, the provision of access for humanitarian aid and the start of the peace talks in Geneva" all this would have been impossible to implement without Russia’s participation," Steinmeier said
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© Valery Sharifulin / TASS

BERLIN, March 27. /TASS/. Russia has played an important role in reaching a ceasefire agreement in Syria, providing access for humanitarian aid and starting peace talks in Geneva, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview published by Funke Media Group on Sunday.

"The truce, the provision of access for humanitarian aid and the start of the peace talks in Geneva - all this would have been impossible to implement without Russia’s constructive participation," Steinmeier said.

The talks between the West, Russia and Mideast countries in Vienna and Munich played an important role in the efforts for the political settlement of the Syrian conflict, the German foreign minister said.

"Indeed, Russia is pursuing its own, quite different interests in Syria - ensuring the protection of the military base. This also relates to the creation of its own spheres of influence. But Russia is not interested in the long-standing chaos and the full destruction of state structures in the Middle East," Steinmeier said.

In his opinion, "there are many grounds" for Russia’s actions in Syria.

"Some of them, undoubtedly, relate to Moscow’s fears that radical Islam from the Middle East may spread to Russian Muslim regions," the German foreign minister said.

"Let us not forget that Russia has been the victim of Islamic terrorism many times," Steinmeier said.

"The bombs at Brussels airport and metro have forced us to realize once again that terrorism threatens all of us to an equal degree and can deliver a blow any time and in any place," the German foreign minister said.

European security agency OSCE is the forum where the West can discuss together with Moscow further steps in the struggle against extremists, he added.

"In summer, we plan to hold a large conference in Berlin to discuss measures for countering terrorism," the German foreign minister said.

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