Terrorism Received Heavy Blow in Syria

MOSCOW, (ST)- International terrorism in Syria has received a heavy blow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said addressing a meeting of Russian ambassadors and envoys on Thursday.

"Thanks to the decisive role played by Russia, international terrorism in Syria, specifically  Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization and other extremist groups, has got a devastating blow that helped preserve Syria’s unity and create suitable conditions for economic recovery and for the return of displaced Syrians to their homeland," Putin made it clear, according to the Syrian news agency SANA.

The Russian President also affirmed that Astana process on Syria and the outcomes of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi are the basis for real political process that contributes to solving the crisis in Syria.

 He urged reactivating assistance to solve humanitarian problems in Syria, because this issue is important for Syria and the region and for many countries of the world as it would ease the pressure on European countries because of immigration waves.

Putin vows to respond proportionally to establishment of NATO bases near Russian borders

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Russian leader said Moscow will respond proportionally to NATO’s aggressive moves that pose a direct threat to Russia’s security, Itar Tass reported.

According to him, the key to ensuring security and stability in Europe lies in boosting cooperation and restoring trust "rather than in establishing new military bases and NATO military infrastructure near Russia’s borders, which is what is happening now."

"We will respond proportionally to aggressive moves that pose a direct threat to Russia," Putin said. "Our counterparts who bet on rising tensions, are trying to bring, say, Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance’s military orbit but they should think about the possible consequences of such an irresponsible policy," the Russian leader stressed.

"There is a need for a different - more positive - agenda, aimed at boosting cooperation and the search for common ground," Putin said, adding that he had discussed the matter with US President Donald Trump at their meeting in Helsinki on July 16.

Putin says some forces seeking to undermine results of Russia-US summit

Putin went on to say that Monday’s Helsinki summit between Russia and the US was generally successful and paved the way for positive changes in bilateral relations though some forces in Washington are trying to undermine its results.

He pointed out that his first full-fledged meeting with Trump "resulted in useful agreements." "We will see how things go, as some forces in America are trying to undermine the results of the Helsinki meeting," he said.

According to Putin, "even given differences in stances," Trump and he agreed that "the current state of Russian-US relations is highly unsatisfactory in many respects, and are even worse than they were in the Cold War era." "Clearly, it would be naive to expect issues that accumulated over years to be resolved in the course of a few hours and no one expected that to happen but nevertheless, I think that we succeeded to embark on a path to positive changes," Putin said, adding that those forces were ready to sacrifice relations with Russia "to their ambition related to the domestic political struggle." In Putin’s view, these forces are also ready to sacrifice the interests of US business circles that were losing contracts worth millions of dollars and access to the Russian market, as well as dozens, if not hundreds, of thousands of jobs in the United States.

Hamda Mustafa