‘Russia protects Syria from outside intrusion, not Assad personally’

Photo by Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images

Russia is protecting Syria from outside interference and not its president as a person, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation (Russian upper house of parliament) Valentina Matvienko told Sputnik.

“We are not protecting Bashar Assad as a person, this is not our goal. We stand for strict observance of international law, the UN Charter, which clearly declares the inadmissibility of outside interference in the affairs of other states,” Matvienko said.

Drawing on examples of post-intervention Iraq and Libya, she relayed a question that Russia asks its partners in negotiations in the event of Assad’s ouster: “What next?”

“Next is chaos, a protracted bloody civil war, because as long as there are no political agreements, it is not clear what format the change of power will assume,” Matvienko said.