Putin's aide: Russia, Iran to become strategic partners
During a briefing, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said that the Russian, Iranian, and Turkish presidents' meeting in Tehran will discuss the situation in northern Syria and develop a strategic partnership between Tehran and Moscow.
Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said in a statement on Monday that Russia opposes any actions that would infringe upon Syria's sovereignty.
He added that "As for Turkey's plans to conduct a new operation against Kurdish formations in northern Syria, this issue will naturally be discussed [during Putin’s trip]. Our position in Russia is that we oppose any actions that violate the basic principle of the Syrian settlement, which is enshrined in the relevant Security Council resolutions and in the decisions of the Astana format. This is respect for the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria.”
Ushakov also added that "We believe that special attention will be paid” to issues regarding the situation “in the territories not controlled by the Syrian government — the regions of Idlib and the Euphrates area."
The US' activity in Syria’s Euphrates area remains a destabilizing factor, the official said, noting that Washington continues to actively encourage separatism.
Furthermore, the Kremlin aide stated that Russia finds the cross-border mechanism to be a violation of Syrian sovereignty and calls for its closure.
During the brief, he said the cross-border mechanism "is a temporary and emergency measure that should be shut down, as it violates international humanitarian law and, most importantly, the sovereignty of Syria."
Ushakov also stressed that Russia previously compromised at the United Nations Security Council when it supported the extension of the mechanism for six months, noting that next time, “our position will be expressed more categorically."
The three presidents plan to adopt a joint statement following their meeting in Tehran said Ushakov.
"Following the results of the Astana format summit in Tehran, it is intended to adopt a joint statement.
The draft has been prepared, and almost already approved. Its adoption will be announced immediately after the meeting of the three presidents," Ushakov told reporters.
In conclusion, Ushakov highlighted that "Iran is an important partner of Russia, relations are of a friendly nature, have a long history, and are developing very effectively in the widest range of areas. Both sides have plans to bring bilateral cooperation to a new level — the level of strategic partnership. A new interstate agreement is being prepared.”
In other words, Ushakov said that Russia and Iran have plans to elevate their relations to the level of a strategic partnership and that a new deal is being drafted.