Support The Moscow Times!

Syria’s Assad Meets Putin in Unannounced Russia Visit

Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with his Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin during an unannounced visit to Moscow, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

Putin congratulated Assad on his re-election to a fourth term this year after official results showed the Syrian leader winning 95% of the vote that foreign powers have dismissed as illegitimate.

“The results show that people trust you and, despite the difficulties and tragedies of past years, they still associate the process of recovery and return to normal life with you,” Putin said.

Putin praised Assad for taking back 90% of Syrian territory and helping Russian-Syrian trade turnover grow 3.5 times this year, but lashed out at U.S.- and Turkey-backed troops that he said are preventing Assad from “consolidating the country and move along the path of reconstruction.”

“The main problem in my opinion is that foreign armed forces are present in certain territories of the country without a UN decision or your approval, which clearly contradicts international law,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

Russian backing has allowed Assad to recapture large parts of Syria from rebels and jihadists during the country’s bloody decade-long civil war that has killed around half a million people and displaced millions of Syrians.

Assad thanked Russia for its military support and humanitarian assistance, including food and medicine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“The only thing is that the political processes that we have been conducting have stopped for about three years,” he said, blaming “certain states” for economic sanctions and “destructive influence.”

The United Nations, whose mediation has failed to end the Syrian civil war, has in recent years focused its efforts on the work of a constitutional committee working toward a post-war basic law.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more