Russia has no objections to Syrian President Bashar Assad's ouster after the peace process starts in the country, Western diplomats say, the Reuters news agency reported Friday.
Russia had been repeatedly voicing its support to the Syrian president, but since Western powers, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agreed that Assad can stay in power during the transition period, Kremlin has changed its mind, a western diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"And the Russians have got to the point privately where they accept that Assad will have gone by the end of this transition, they're just not prepared to say that publicly," diplomat said.
Russia has changed its position on the eve of the third round of ministerial talks on the Syrian crisis. The meeting will tale place in New York on Friday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, along with the ministers from 16 other countries will participate.