Putin: We Won’t Sell out Our Allies or Principles to Strike Syria Deal with US

MOSCOW- Russia will not reach any agreement with the United States on the future of Syria at the cost of Syria itself or Moscow’s interests and principles, President Vladimir Putin has said, according to RT.

During his annual Q&A session on Thursday, a journalist asked Putin if there would be a “grand deal” with the US on Syria as the country begins to recover from years of conflict and destruction

“What do you mean ‘a grand deal’? Sounds like some commercial act. No. We don’t sell out our allies, our interests or our principles,” Putin said.

He said that Russia is willing to negotiate a political solution in Syria with various stakeholders. “Can it be done? I believe it can".

Putin highlighted Turkey and Iran as Russia’s immediate partners in resolving the crisis in Syria.

 Putin says US attempt to use force against Iran to cause catastrophe

Regarding Iran-US tension, Putin said that should the United States try to use force against Iran, a catastrophe will follow, because the effects of a military solution are very hard to gauge, Itar Tass reported.

"This [the use of US military force against Iran] would be a catastrophe at least for the region, because it would trigger violence and, possibly, an increase in the number of refugees from the region," Putin said. "For those who might make such attempts the consequences would be very sad, too, because it is very hard to foresee what the use of military force might entail."

Putin believes it’s possible to discuss global security, bilateral ties with Trump

Concerning US-Russian-US relations, Putin said that he believes that it is possible to discuss the issues of international security and bilateral relations with his US counterpart Donald Trump.

"We have enough to talk about in the sphere of international security, disarmament. Our New START treaty is expiring soon, as well as from the point of view of improving the normal inter-state relations in all spheres, including economy," Putin made it clear.

Russia, US need dialogue

In an interview with NTV host Irada Zeinalova, President Putin said that Russia and the United States need dialogue to reach consensus and both understand that neither of them can impose its position by force.

"I don’t think that anyone is trying to press us to do anything," he said.

"I think everyone understands that it is next to impossible," he added.

"But, obviously, we need dialogue," Putin stressed. "They have their own vision of how to resolve these of those matters, we have ours. But it is impossible to reach consensus without dialogue."

Putin has repeatedly said that Russia is open for dialogue with the United States. Washington however cancelled a meeting between the two leaders planned for late November - early December 2018 several days ahead of it. Since then, Putin and Trump have had only one telephone conversation. The two leaders will have a possibility to exchange a couple of words on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit in Japan’s Osaka late next week.

Putin says Russia is not striving for superpower status

Following his annual Q&A session, Putin told reporters that Russia does not intend to impose its influence over other states, striving for a superpower status.

"We are not looking for this status because this notion is loaded with certain elements connected to imposing the influence on other states and whole regions. We do not want to go back to the state that the Soviet Union was in, when it was imposing the lifestyle, political system and the rest on its neighbors, including the Eastern European countries. This is counterproductive, this is too costly and does not have any historical prospects," he said, answering the question whether Russia is a superpower now.

As Putin noted, "the bitter experience of the Soviet Union" is not being taken into account by certain Russian partners in the West. "They keep making the same mistakes, falling into the same trap, coming from them being empires and advancing their policies as such," the president pointed out.

H.M

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