What is behind Kerry's emergency visit to Moscow?
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed US Secretary of State John Kerry's plans for a visit to Moscow, during which he will meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin.
"Secretary of State Kerry will most likely visit Moscow, where he’ll have contacts with his colleague, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The possibility of Kerry meeting with the Russian president is also being reviewed," RIA Novosti cited Peskov as saying.
"The Russian side will be ready to discuss the most actual issues. This is, first and foremost, Syria and the coordination of our joint efforts in the promotion of the peace process," Putin's press secretary added.
Recall, yesterday John Kerry announced his intention to visit Russia to meet with the President and the Foreign Minister.
The advisor to the deputy chairman of the Federation Council, deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador Andrey Baklanov, stressed in conversation with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that this visit by John Kerry to Moscow is special. "It will be the first visit to take place in a situation when Moscow has the initiative on the Syrian issue. Our initiative is to overcome the results of the US policy in dealing with terrorist gangs and removing the contradictions between nationalist forces," he explained.
"It is time for Russia and the United States to reach a common approach with regard to the initiative of the Syrian leadership to hold elections in April. Last week I met with the Syrian Ambassador to Moscow, Riyad Haddad, and he stressed that Damascus is ready to develop a formula for the presidential and parliamentary elections while continuing operation of existing institutions, including the Constitution," the diplomat named one of the topics on the agenda.
"The second unit is related to Daesh and other gangs, this issue is not resolved yet and we will continue to help the government forces. It is necessary to agree on joint actions on this issue. The next question is what should happen in the liberated territories. This requires the common approach as well," Andrei Baklanov listed.
According to him, using Syria as an example today, we can see the return of the co-sponsorship model of the early 90s. "And it would be a very good option for our possible joint actions in resolving conflicts in the Middle East, which have become very complex in recent years," the expert noted.
Andrei Baklanov pointed out that the ideal resolution of the Syrian conflict – to save Syria's territorial integrity – is barely foreseeable now. "It may be burdened with real approaches of interested individuals and groups," he said.
The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, in his turn, stressed that the key theme of Kerry's visit will become the fight against Daesh.
"The second point is the territorial structure of future Syria, what territorial structure and control zones it will have if it will be preserved as a single state. The federal model can be a compromise. It is necessary to discuss the mechanism of power changes in Damascus and guarantees for Assad, as the version of his gradual withdrawal is already being worked out," the expert said.
Also, according to Remizov, the parties should discuss the list of terrorist groups, which often becomes an occasion for a public controversy. Finally, an important place is occupied by the Kurdish-Turkish conflict. "I think Moscow should confirm its position that the anti-Kurdish intervention is unacceptable at the territory of Syria," the President of the National Strategy Institute added.
Finally, it makes sense to consider the US sponsorship of its regional allies. "Now, when Moscow announced the withdrawal of the main part of its troops, such regional powers as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are masters of the situation. However, they are responsible for the development of the crisis and only the US pressure can provide the conditions for Syrian stabilization," the expert warned.
A gradual restart of the government in Damascus would be ideal option for both sides to save their reputation. "That is, if Assad will leave, but not immediately, and at the same time, if Islamists won't be in power in Damascus, so the safety of the current Syrian president will be guaranteed," Mikhail Remizov said.