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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Needs No Parliamentary Approval to Send Monitors to Syrian Safe Zones

Sputnik News

20:24 04.05.2017(updated 20:26 04.05.2017)

Sending Russian observers to monitor truce in safe zones in Syria will not require additional approval by the country's Federation Council, as such operations will take place within the already-established anti-terrorist mission in the country, the chairman of the Russian upper house of parliament's Defense and Security committee told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Syrian ceasefire guarantor states – Russia, Iran and Turkey – signed a memorandum on four safe zones in Syria within the framework of negotiations in Astana on Syrian settlement, which involved Damascus and the Syrian opposition delegations. The Russian delegation head of the Astana talks and Special Presidential Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that Russia was ready to send its observers to monitor ceasefire.

"Sending of the Russian observers does not require the additional decision of the Federation Council. They can be sent as part of the anti-terrorist operation in Syria, which has already been approved, as one of the operation's purposes is to facilitate return to peaceful life," Viktor Ozerov said.

According to the Russian constitution, the Federation Council is in charge of solving questions regarding the use of Russian Armed Forces abroad.

On September 30, 2015, the Russian Federation Council unanimously approved sending of the Russian Aerospace Forces to support fight against terrorists in Syria at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Creation of Safe Zones Signals Shift to Peaceful Life in Syria

"This is an undeniable step forward, a step toward peace process in Syria… It is not about fight against terrorism but about the transition to peaceful life, and this is what the establishment of the de-escalation zones provides for," Ozerov said.

Ozerov noted that the creation of the safe zone would facilitate the delivery of international aid to Syrian settlements in need and would allow the Syrian economy to recover as well as let the state's schools and hospitals in these parts of the state, where the zones will be located, resume their work.

The Syrian civil war has been raging for six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups who strive to overthrow President Bashar Assad, and numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as Daesh and Jabhat Fatah al Sham (al-Nusra Front), both of which are outlawed in Russia.

Syrian settlement talks take place on two parallel platforms: the UN-mediated Geneva talks, and the Astana talks, brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The three aforementioned states are the guarantors of a nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime that came into force on December 30, 2016.


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