Petr Kozlov, Alexei Nikolsky
Vedomosti, September 06, 2016, p. 2
Presidents of Russia and the US Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama discussed the terms of regulation of the conflicts in Syria and Donets Basin at the margin of G20 summit in Chinese Hangzhou for more than an hour on Monday but failed to achieved a compromise.
RUSSIA AND THE US FAILED TO ACHIEVE A COMPROMISE ABOUT SYRIA
Presidents of Russia and the US Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama discussed the terms of regulation of the conflicts in Syria and Donets Basin at the margin of G20 summit in Chinese Hangzhou for more than an hour on Monday but failed to achieve a compromise. They managed to discuss all matters not “on the move” but substantially, Putin said at a press conference. He reported, “We achieved understanding of each other and understanding of the problems that we faced. It is necessary to retrofit some technical things.” According to Putin, Obama “absolutely sincerely aspires for achievement of a result in combating of terrorism and resolving of the Syrian conflict.” Speaking about Donets Basin, he said that there was no other format besides the Normandy one but summit in this format is possible only in condition of a result. Putin refused to speak about parameters of agreements on Syria but said that should they be achieved “our cooperation with the US including cooperation in the Syrian direction will be seriously broadened.”
The major part of the meeting was occupied by negotiations on Syria, Obama said, calling the conversion about “a real truce” productive, CNN reported. The parties failed to achieve an agreement due to shortage of confidence. Bearing this circumstance in mind, Obama called negotiations “difficult” and said that so far it was impossible to settle the disputes fully but reported that he ordered Secretary of State John Kerry to restart the negotiations. The meeting of the leaders was preceded by intensive work of Kerry and Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov, their new meeting would be possible soon, Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov reported. According to Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov “about ten” negotiations on the matter of Syrian regulation is planned for the near future.
Recently, an official of the Department of State named one of the disputes for American mass media, namely creation of a unified list of terrorist organizations. In turn, a source close to the Russian delegation announced that proposal of the US about demilitarization of the humanitarian corridor in the north of Aleppo was a problem because there existed a possibility of its taking by terrorists.
The parties did not explain what both leaders meant speaking about “technical details.” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov stated that Russia hopes that the US will settle the matter of guarantees to “moderate opposition” in Syria with regard to delivery of humanitarian aid to eastern Aleppo. According to a person close to the Defense Ministry, opposition refused to let humanitarian aid through positions of the Syrian army and demanded humanitarian aid to be delivered without any control.
Aide to the Director of the RISS Elena Suponina said that recently many foreign mass media evaluated the situation too optimistically but progress was hardly possible in the near future and was not expected at that meeting. Suponina says, “Serious disputes remain about the most significant issues. The matter is not only about Russia and the US but about position of regional players Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran: it is impossible to settle the disputes among them yet. But this does not mean a failure at all. Negotiations will be continued and there is a good basis for this but they will focus not on the problem of comprehensive regulation but on the matters of combating of terrorism and provision of humanitarian aid. Progress in possible in these two directions.”