"Assad’s refusal from power in Syria beneficial to Russia"

"Assad’s refusal from power in Syria beneficial to Russia"

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 3

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's refusal from power is beneficial to Russia, Mikhail Remizov, the president of the Russian National Strategy Institute, said.

"In the current situation, it is not easy to create a stable configuration of power in Syria, even in case of military success," Remizov said in an interview with Trend.

"A transit of power would be the most optimal option for Russia, in which President Assad will leave in case of guaranteed security. A constitutional reform, which would be a compromise among different ethnic, religious and political groups in the country, will be conducted."

"President Assad is rather unpopular in the Arab world," Remizov said. "If the Russian military operation in Syria is successful and President Assad retains power, Russia will have to take responsibility for the stability of this political regime."

The expert said that besides a clear purpose in the military operation, it is logical to put a clear objective in the political operation in the form of the agreed transit of power under tough conditions of preserving the secular nature of the Syrian statehood.

"This will be the point of Russia's participation in Syria's political situation," he said. "I think it is quite uninteresting to constantly be liable for President Assad and his skeletons in the closet... This is the case when the goals of Russia and the West can match."

The expert said that President Assad is in a dependent position and external pressure can force him to agree to these conditions, adding that the transfer of power will be possible only after the Islamist groups are defeated militarily.

Remizov said that the Russian military operation in Syria can not be too short or too long.

"It would be logical to take into account several months," he said. "That is, if a ground operation goes beyond the planned limits in a few months, it is necessary to return to the positional confrontation regime on the improved conditions when President Assad and the Syrian regime are becoming one of the stable counterbalances of Islamism in the region."

"If the ground operation makes no advances within several months, it is also necessary to record the results and leave," said the expert.

He went on to add that Iran may have an important influence on success of the military operation in Syria.

"Iran has always been actively involved in resolving the conflict in Syria, but now there is a reason to activate its efforts in the ground operation," said Remizov. "Since Syria is largely in the orbit of influence of Iran, it is mostly the responsibility of Tehran and its interest to carry out a successful operation on the territory of Syria."

The expert said that one of conditions for success of Russian air raids is to coordinate actions with the land-based component, which takes place mostly with the participation of Iranian ground forces. At the same time, Russia doesn't take part in ground operations and won't participate in the future as well, according to official statements.

"That is why coordination with Iran is needed and it will have to increase if the operation continues," said Remizov.

Regarding the coordination of actions between Russia and the United States, in the best case there can be a coordination to avoid collisions, and one shouldn't count on help, the expert said.

Earlier, Russia's President Vladimir Putin appealed to the country's Federation Council for permission to use the Russian armed forces abroad. The Federation Council granted the request.

Russian Defense Ministry has said the aircraft of the country's air forces launched air operations with pinpoint strikes on terrorists from the radical group "Islamic State" in Syria.

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