MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The presence of Russia’s military base in Syria is aimed at fighting terrorism and creating a military balance in the region, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
"The presence of the Russian military base in Syria is not only aimed at fighting terrorism but also at creating an international political balance in the Security Council, as well as a military balance in different areas with a view of restoring the Russian role," he said.
"Restoring this role is in the interest of all states, including Syria and other small and medium-sized countries," the Syrian leader noted. "Therefore, we view this relationship from two perspectives: a partnership on the bilateral level and a relationship based on this international role, which we hope will continue to increase," al-Assad added.
He stressed that the relations between Russia and Syria had always been based on mutual respect. "Through the different circumstances, including the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, our relations with Russia have always been based on mutual respect, a peer-to-peer relationship. We have never felt at any time, even during this war, that Russia is trying to impose its views on us. They have always treated us with respect; even when we differed, they respected the views of the Syrian government," al-Assad noted.