All news

No grounds to look for secret arrangements in Russia-Turkey deal on Syria — Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister commented on media claims that there are allegedly secret arrangements between Russia and the US on northeastern Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. There are no grounds to suspect that there are undisclosed arrangements in the Russian-Turkish agreements on northeastern Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference on Tuesday.

"I don’t have a sense that today it is possible to agree something with the United States. I don’t see any grounds to look for secret plots in what we agreed with Turkey during the talks between Presidents [Vladimir] Putin and [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in Sochi on October 22. The memorandum that was adopted is perfectly clear. All its articles are implemented in full," Lavrov said in response to a journalist request to comment on certain media outlets’ claims that there are secret arrangements between Russia and the US on northeastern Syria, under which Russian military would allegedly occupy the territories freed by American military.

Lavrov added that it would be "unconstructive or counterproductive" to develop a long-term policy of normalizing the situation in Syria and undertake restoration of its territorial integrity and sovereignty "bearing in mind the inconsistent actions of the country that is stationed on the Syrian territory illegally, in violation of the international law."

According to the Russian foreign minister, Russian military continues working both with Syrians and with Turks to ensure security in northeastern Syria. "Our military is working in close cooperation with the Syrian Armed Forces in the 30-km zone away from the Syria-Turkish border, where Kurdish self-defense armed units withdrew from, while our military police units are working with Turkish colleagues patrolling the 10-km strip in this 30-km zone," he underlined.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum on joint actions in northeastern Syria. According to the document, as of noon October 23, Russian military police and Syrian border guards started to monitor the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations to the depth of 30 km from the border. On the outcomes of the agreement, Ankara stated that it had suspended its large-scale military operation in the area. However, Turkey retains control over the territories where it plans to relocate Syrian refugees in the future.

The deadline for the Kurdish forces to withdraw expired on October 29, 18:00 local time. Turkey and Russia began joint patrolling in northeastern Syria on November 1.