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FT: Putin asked Assad to leave
Material posted: Publication date: 22-01-2016
The Kremlin disproved messages of mass media, having declared that Moscow didn't suggest the president of Syria to leave the post.

Some weeks prior to the death the chief of Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of VS colonel general Igor Sergun visited Damascus with delicate mission: The Kremlin suggested the Syrian president Assad to leave the post. About it the Financial Times newspaper with reference to two high-ranking employees of the western intelligence services writes. The inquiry of FT in the MFA of Russia was redirected to the Ministry of Defence which couldn't provide comments.

Bashar al-Assad "indignantly" rejected Sergun's proposal, writes FT, however its fact added optimism to the staff of the western intelligence services at the end of 2015 as such step of Moscow allows to hope for "the realistic scenario of transfer of power with preservation of the Alawite mode, but with involvement in negotiations of a moderate wing of opposition". With allies on the antiigilovsky coalition it would mean permission of a "chanceless" situation with Assad's leaving for the USA and would open, in understanding of Washington, a way to easing of interfaith intensity in Syria and Iraq which led to growth of the Islamic State group forbidden in Russia.

According to one of FT sources in intelligence services of Europe, intensity of the Russian military operation in Syria reached a natural limit, thus the president of Russia Vladimir Putin "saw an unattractive wrong side of Syrian regime" and "found much more problems, than counted". But with mission Serguna Russia "went too far", tells a source: Assad answered that Russia in Syria has no future if he doesn't remain the president.

Doubts of rather real purposes of Russia in the country grow in the highest circles of the Syrian power, the newspaper claims. "Assad's people started understanding that "the big brother" can demand from them in exchange for the protection", - the unnamed businessman from Damascus speaks. FT claims that Assad "smoothed out" a political landscape from competitors, remembering suspicious disappearance of the Alawite dissident Abdelaziz al-Heyra who in 2012 went to Moscow and to China, and, according to political scientists, was the real competitor of Assad.

In Russia the discontent with Assad also increases, writes FT with reference to the Russian political scientist-blizhnevostochnika involved in the Russian diplomacy on this direction. "It became obvious that Assad's leaving - part of future political decision, a question in terms, - is told by a source. - After a meeting of the president Putin with Assad in Moscow last year that behaved incorrectly, and it disturbs our efforts on political settlement".

According to FT, policy of the UN don't expect results from the intersyrian negotiations which start in Geneva on January 25.

Igor Sergun died on January 4 at the age of 58 years. He was appointed the chief of GRU on December 26, 2011. "Colleagues and subordinates knew it as real fighting officer, skilled and competent commander, person of big courage, true patriot. Respected for professionalism, backbone, honesty and decency", - it was told in Putin's telegram addressed to the family of Sergun.


Tags: assessment , Russia , Syria

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