President Vladimir Putin on the phone discussed the situation in the South-East of Ukraine and fighting in Syria with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who has previously refused to participate in the opening of Orthodox center in Paris with Putin, which ultimately led to the cancellation of the visit of the head of the Russian Federation the Russian side.

In the Kremlin explainedthat in the course of the conversation, which was initiated by the German side, discussed the situation in Ukraine, in particular, the prospects for further international assistance to settlement of the internal Ukrainian conflict by strict compliance with the Minsk agreements.

Putin stressed there is no alternative to these agreements as the basis for resolving the crisis, noted in the Kremlin. The leaders of the three countries agreed to intensify consultations in various formats.

In addition, the heads of state also exchanged views on the Syrian issue. They noted the importance of coordination of efforts of the international community in the fight against terrorist threats, said in the Kremlin.

“Vladimir Putin expressed hope that is scheduled for October 15 Lausanne meeting between the foreign Ministers of Russia, the US and several key countries in the region will be productive from the point of view of real assistance to settlement in Syria,” – said the press service of the head of state.

12 September, Putin visited the plenary session of the eighth investment forum “Russia calling!” where a French journalist asked the President about the cancellation of the visit to Paris, scheduled for October 19, and asked whether he thinks that the reaction to the French draft resolution in the UN Security Council on Syria was too harsh and it caused a reaction on the part of France.

“First, I want to say that we value our relations with France and think France is one of our priority partners in Europe historically, it remains the case today, – said Putin. – As to this specific case. You know we don’t like poking around in the underwear, diplomatic, it just looks so nice, sometimes there’s the smell of not very decent, but if we have to, we then have to say something. And I will answer you. Not that our partners need to be offended by the situation on this veto our resolution in French, it is likely we should be offended”.

That French side changed their stance regarding the future of Putin’s visit to Paris after Russia imposed a veto on France introduced a resolution in the Security Council of the UN demand to stop bombing of Aleppo and a military aircraft fly over the city, on the eve told the newspaper Le Monde. A French diplomat in conversation with The Financial Times, called another reason: supposedly in France found unacceptable the participation of Hollande in the opening of the Russian cultural centre in Paris.

Against this background, the Federation Council ratified the agreement between Russia and Syria on the indefinite presence of the Russian air group in the Syrian territory. For the placement of videoconferencing voted 158 senators and one abstained.

The head of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security Viktor Ozerov saidthat the presence in Syria of Russian aviation group helps maintain peace and stability in the region, is defensive in nature and not directed against other States. “Ratification of the agreement meets the interests of the Russian Federation in the fight against terrorism,” said the Senator.

The agreement is for an indefinite period. Its use is terminated at the expiration of one year from the date of receipt of the notification by one of the parties on intention to terminate the agreement.

The agreement was signed between Russia and Syria August 26, 2015 in Damascus, even before the official beginning of the Russian operation in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin on 9 August 2016, introduced the document to the state Duma. The lower house unanimously ratified the Treaty on 7 October.

Despite the fact that the contract was signed in August of 2015, it was published only on January 14, 2016 the agreement was published on the official portal of legal information. However, then the question of ratification of the Treaty did not go. 29 July 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered to submit to the President the document to the head of state made it for ratification to the state Duma.

There is a growing international isolation of Russia in connection with the situation in Syria. On the eve Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain Boris Johnson has called Russia guilty in the attack on the humanitarian convoy of the United Nations in Aleppo, citing as evidence some satellite photos. The head of the British foreign Ministry noted the need to investigate war crimes in Syria to international court and urged the British to organise protests at the Russian Embassy in London.

The Russian defense Ministry denied the words of Johnson, calling them “Russophobic hysteria”. The Department insists that the Russian aircraft in the area to find the convoy in Aleppo, in the time of the shelling was not.

Putin on the phone discussed the situation in Syria and Ukraine with Merkel and Hollande 13.10.2016

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