Russia sees no way of achieving a political settlement in Syria other than a political one, and it hopes that the forthcoming resignation of the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy Staffan de Mistura will not put this process on hold, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Thursday, TASS reports.
"Russia has done a great deal to promote a political settlement in Syria, and it keeps doing so to furnish support for a settlement on the Geneva basis," he said. "In this respect Russia’s contribution is hard to overestimate."
Peskov recalled that Russian officials maintained permanent contact with de Mistura.
"Far from everything can be described as effective, but we hope that the process of the political settlement in Syria will continue," he said, adding that there was "no other way."
Earlier, de Mistura said he would step down in late November. By that moment he will be in office as the UN Secretary-General’s envoy for four years and four months.
De Mistura has held different positions at the United Nations for about 40 years. At a certain point he represented the UN Secretary-General in Iraq and Afghanistan. In May 2014 de Mistura replaced Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, who had spent nearly two years on that post and promoted two rounds of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva. The first envoy for Syria was UN former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who quit the envoy’s position in August 2012.