SyriaMiddle East

Syria backs Russia’s efforts to stand against West’s escalatory moves, Assad says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says his country supports Russian efforts to confront the escalatory steps taken by certain Western countries and the US-led NATO military alliance to provoke hostilities, especially in the eastern Ukraine region.

“Syria supports Russia in countering attempts of Western states to exacerbate the situation in the world, and in particular the problems linked to Ukraine,” Syria’s official news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Assad added, “The West’s efforts are aimed at undermining Russia’s role and its constructive policy that arises from the necessity to understand international legitimacy and achieve stability in the whole world.”

Russia and Western states have been engaged in a long-running dispute over the developments in Ukraine’s eastern Russian-speaking, which has been the scene of a bloody conflict since 2014 between the Kiev government and pro-Russia forces.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Moscow of supporting the anti-Kiev campaign in the east, trying to put pressure on Russia through sanctions and military threats. Russia, however, denies any role in the developments, and has taken rounds of retaliatory measures to respond to the sanctions and the Western military buildup at its doorstep.

Elsewhere in the phone conversation, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, especially in the areas of trade and economy as well as cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, including supplies of Russian vaccines, the report added.

Moreover, Assad expressed gratitude to Russia “for providing humanitarian cooperation to Syrian people which helps them to overcome consequences of a brutal blockade.”

In February, Syria authorized the use of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Syria has recorded 22,135 coronavirus infections and 1,537 fatalities from the virus in government-held areas, according to the Arab country’s Health Ministry.

Russia has also been helping Syrian forces in the ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country.

The Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as Syrians continue to recapture key areas from Daesh and other terrorist groups across the country.

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