While Washington ponders how to assess the withdrawal of Russian VKS from Syria, the European partners, the United States welcomes Moscow’s decision. The Western media note that Russia, having broken a course of war, made an unexpected maneuver, and Putin “again outsmarted Obama.” According to Russian experts, Putin sends message to everyone in the region, pushing them towards a political resolution of the conflict.
“The Russian President announced the decision that the withdrawal is a positive step… It became possible thanks to good cooperation between the U.S. and Russia”, – declared on Monday to journalists the Chairman of the Security Council of the UN Angolan diplomat Ismael Gaspar Martins, who was quoted by TASS. According to him, all members of the security Council took this announcement with enthusiasm. The diplomat noted that thanks to the conflict in Syria can go “a different path”.
“Opponents of Barack Obama claim that passive policy in Syria Washington has created a strategic vacuum that was filled by the Russians”
As stated earlier, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin, members of the security Council during a closed meeting noted that a decision to withdraw forces from Syria, “shows the deep commitment of Russia to the political process”.
Despite the withdrawal of Russian troops, “the interaction between the forces of the Russian Federation and Syria is still at the highest level, and it will continue,” stressed the information Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic Omran al-Zoubi, who is quoted by RIA “Novosti”.
Caution and conditional approval
In Washington the news of the decision taken in Moscow, reacted with caution. While it is known only that the Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone informed the head of the White house Barack Obama on the withdrawal of the factions HQs. In the White house, the state Department and the Pentagon stated that they expect additional information.
Head of Western diplomacy, General welcoming the step of the Russian leader, gave his comments a number of “if”.
“If the announcement of the withdrawal of Russian troops materializes, it will put pressure on the regime of President (Bashar al -) Assad, to finally seriously engaged in negotiations in Geneva on a political transition that would preserve the existence of the Syrian state and the interests of all groups of the population,” said German foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “The Russian move could be a positive if he will be part of the obligations implementation by the Syrians of the process of political transition and renewed efforts to end hostilities,” in turn, the Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain Philip Hammond.
Foreign Ministry spokesman of China, Lu Kang said that “the decision of the Russian side may submit to the international community, particularly all parties to the conflict in Syria, positive signal to encourage these parties to adhere to dialogue and negotiations to find a political solution to the Syrian problem,” – said the representative of the Chinese foreign Ministry.
Turkey as a critic
Perhaps the only power which expressed clear dissatisfaction was Turkey. Permanent representative of Turkey to the EU Selim Inel noticed that the withdrawal of the Russian military will not affect the course of the Syrian conflict. “The war continues, the flows of migrants will remain and people will continue to flee from the regime,” he said.
Enel recalled that “the air strikes do not win, we need troops on the ground, but nobody decided on a ground operation”.
However, the Turkish diplomat made a surprise maneuver, and stated that he shared the misgivings of Vladimir Putin about the uncertain future of Syria in case of departure of Bashar al-Assad, as demanded by a number of countries. “One thing I agree with Putin – who after the departure of Assad? Yes, we want to get rid of it, but who will be after him?” said Enel and cited the example of Libya after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. However, the efforts of Russia and the Syrian government is not focused on the fight against terrorist organizations, and with the “moderate opposition”, once again sounded the official version of Ankara, the Turkish diplomat.
Outwitted and caught off guard
The decision of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the withdrawal of the main part of the group HQs from Syria “caught Washington by surprise,” noted the publication Politico. In the article titled “Putin outsmarted Obama?” edition reminded about one of the greatest fears of the American President.