Putin says Syrian people must choose leaders

 Sputnik/ Grigory Sysoyev


President Vladimir Putin says that Russian military operation in Syria will continue until a political process starts. Putin said at a televised news conference that once the Syrians decide it’s time to stop fighting and launch talks, “we aren’t going to be more Syrian than the Syrians themselves,” and Moscow will wrap up its military action, the Associated Press reports.

He says that he was unsure whether Russia needs a permanent military base in Syria. He said new Russian weapons, such as sea- and air-launched cruise missiles, give Moscow enough punch to strike an enemy and there may be no need for a permanent base in Syria.

President Vladimir Putin says the Syrian people themselves must determine who rules the country.

Putin, who met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this week, said at a news conference Thursday that Moscow supports a U.S. draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. He says a new constitution for Syria must be drafted, and a new election prepared in which the Syrians themselves will determine its leadership.

He adds that Russia believes that a political settlement is the only way to end the Syrian crisis.

Putin says Russia and the U.S. agree on the need to ensure work on a new constitution and create mechanisms of control over future elections.

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