Russian position on Paris attack and Syria

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Peter Souza Wikimedia
Presidents Obama and Putin in happier times

A SPOKESMAN for the Kremlin said that in a telegram sent to Francois Hollande on November 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin recorded “this tragedy has become another testimony of terrorism’s barbarity, which poses a challenge to human civilisation.”

It concluded “it is clear that the real unification of the international community’s efforts is needed for an effective fight against this evil.” and the Russian leader indicated that his country was ready to cooperate with France in its investigations of the attack.

The following day however saw European Council President Donald Tusk say at the G20 meeting in Turkey that Russian military action in Syria is increasing the number of refugees trying to reach Europe and that they should focus more on Islamic State (ISIS) militants and not against “moderate Syrian opposition”.

The major fear in the west is that Russia wants to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in power whilst the US in particular wants to see him removed. According to Mr Tusk, cooperation between the US and Russia in their action against ISIS in Syria was “crucial”.

President Obama met publicly with Mr Putin at the G20 summit and it is believed that they will be meeting in private to discuss possible courses of action which will advance the war against ISIS.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also made his own public statement, saying “The Paris tragedy requires of us all to unite in the fight against extremism, to bring a strong answer to terrorists’ actions.”

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