Friday, 22 January, 2016

Putin suggests granting asylum to Syria's Assad would be easy

Dillon Hess | 20 January, 2016, 19:15

Russia's annexation of Crimea in March of 2014, Putin told BILD, was simply the Kremlin's way of protecting the people of Crimea from being confined within the borders imposed upon them by the United States and Europe after the West claimed victory in the Cold War. This can be corroborated.

Russia's primary objective in Syria, Putin said, was to support a legitimate government so that Syria does not end up like Iraq or Libya.

He also accused Western media outlets of brushing over attacks on civilians by Western air forces, including trying to "hush up" the American attack on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in October. Putin said the Western expansion has been aggravating worldwide crises.

Assad has also expressed willingness to hold new elections if opposition forces put away their weapons, a promise that rebels say is disingenuous coming from a man whose troops drop barrel bombs on civilians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Syria needs to start working on a new constitution as a first step to finding a political solution to its civil war, though he acknowledged the process was likely to be hard.

Military analysts say Putin's primary goal is propping up the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin said, however, that "the biggest harm is now caused by the decline of the prices for energy", according to an English-language transcript published by Bild online.

The publication then brought up the Ukrainian province of Crimea, which Russia annexed in March 2014 after Ukraine's pro-West parliament ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. It's the Syrian people themselves who must determine how and who should run their state.

"This is the only way to achieve stability and security, to create conditions for economic growth and prosperity, so that people can live in their own homes, in their homeland, rather than flee to Europe".

Putin's surprise intervention in Syria was widely seen as an effort to prop up a faltering friend, and also to give Russian Federation a seat at the table in any negotiations about the future of the country.

Putin, who has been backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against the Islamic State, added that Russian military will be assisting parts of the Syrian opposition to fight back the Islamic State as well.

The Russian government has forecast the country's gross domestic product would increase 0.7 per cent next year, after falling 3.7 per cent in 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he considers Turkey's request addressed to North Atlantic Treaty Organization for protection after an incident with Russia's Su-24 bomber a step that is "odd" and "humiliating" for that country.

Bomb Threats Received At Schools In 9 New Jersey Towns
A student exits a bus as he arrives at Venice High School in Los Angeles, California on December 16, 2015. Both Butte High School and the Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse were evacuated just before 10 a.m.