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After Trump Victory, Russia to Reconsider U.S. Coalition in Syria

Evan Vucci / AP

Russia could enter into an anti-terror coalition with the United States under U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, one of Russia's top diplomats has claimed.

Moscow would consider working with the United States in Syria if the new U.S. administration “changes its approach” on key issues, said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international affairs committee for Russia's Federation Council.

Cooperation would only be an option if Trump kept key campaign promises, Kosachev told Russian tabloid Izvestia. During his campaign, the Republican president-elect pledged that he will “take [Syria's] oil” from the hands of the Islamic State, even discussing the use of ground troops.

Trump has also claimed that he will undertake foreign policy as a “business arrangement” focused on promoting U.S. interests, a promise which has been positively received by top Russian officials.

“Until now, [the United States'] aim was not so much the suppression of terrorism, but rather regime change," Kosachev told Izvestia. “But we see no problem in being part of a coalition with the United States, provided that their actions are guided solely by international law."

Cooperation between Russia and the United States in Syria has been consistently derailed by political and diplomatic conflict. Hurdles include including disagreements on the fate of the Syrian leader Bashar Assad and the designation of different armed factions as “terrorists.”

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