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Foreign Military Intervention in Syria: Red Line for Russia

Fars News Agency
January 2, 2013

Foreign Military Intervention in Syria: Red Line for Russia

Landing-Ship-Novocherkassk-Visits-Greek-Port-Piraeus
The Novocherkassk landing ship

TEHRAN: Russia opposes any development in Syria which occurs as a result of foreign military intervention and doesn’t want to come out of the Syrian scene empty-handed, a senior Iranian legislator said on Wednesday.

“Causing developments through military intervention and remaining empty-handed in the developments in Syria are Moscow’s red line,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and Russia Expert Mehdi Sanayee told FNA.

Noting that the deployment of Russian ground forces in Syria is seen as the new step in the Syrian crisis, he said, “Russia tries to prove on the international scene that it is committed to its strategy, which is opposition to and confrontation against foreign military intervention and unilateral moves in Syria and to show that it has not surrendered on them.”

He referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks a few weeks ago which were deemed to hint a change in Moscow’s position on Syria, and said now Russia, by deploying ground forces in Syria, wants to announce that it is committed to its previous strategy.

His remarks came after the huge landing ship Novocherkassk of the Russian Black Sea fleet left its port in Novorossiysk city on Sunday heading towards thw Eastern Mediterranean to the technical support base at Tartus, the Syrian national port.

The Novocherkassk is the third such craft dispatched since Friday to Tartus. An unnamed official in the Russian general staff told the Interfax news agency that several military vehicles and one naval infantry unit have joined the Novocherkassk on Saturday.

Also, Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich late December rejected media reports that President Bashar Assad’s resignation is the precondition for any future negotiations over the Syrian crisis.

“No one has set any preconditions for (Assad’s) resignation. There’s no such condition in the agreed-upon Geneva communiqué,” the Russian foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by Voice of Russia.

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