Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

02/13/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/13/2018 11:10

Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov’s interview with the newspaper Izvestia, February 13, 2018

Question: The United States has announced the training of the Syrian Border Security Force, a 30,000 strong group that will be mostly comprised of Kurds. The first elections of different levels have been held in the so-called Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Does Russia have a recipe for stopping this increasing disintegration?

Mikhail Bogdanov: We do have a recipe. It is based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the fundamental principles of international law, which stem from the UN Charter. The UNSC resolution must be implemented and the principles must be complied with.

The recent Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, which was attended by ethnic Kurds, although they did not represent the Democratic Union Party, which currently holds leading positions in the north and northeast of Syria (the reasons for this are well known), has shown that the Syrians are resolved to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country. The final statement of the congress says this clearly and unambiguously. None of the congress delegates proposed disintegration.

Moreover, I can assure you that none of the Kurdish delegates that I met proposed this either.

We believe that separatist sentiments among some Kurds have been provoked by the clumsy actions of our American partners. These actions have created an illusion among the Kurds in northern Syria that they will not lose the protection and sponsorship of the United States no matter what they do. These actions have also engendered serious concern in Turkey over the security of its southern borders, which the Americans supposedly intend to turn over to US-trained and armed Kurdish forces, as some statements by US officials seem to indicate. You know about the negative consequences of this. Therefore, an additional ingredient of our recipe is a recommendation for all external forces that are trying to influence the situation in Syria to take into account the complicated regional realities and the specifics of Syria, a country with a rich history and national traditions.

To be continued...