Terrorists groups, which Russia expected to be separated from ‘moderate rebels’ with US help, and be subject to joint US-Russian attacks, are instead using the ongoing ceasefire to regroup, the Russian president said.
“We agreed that the Al-Nusra Front and the likes of it would be separated from the so-called healthy opposition factions, and we would be shown where the latter are located. But what we see today is not separation of the healthy part of the opposition and the terrorists. We see terrorist forces trying to regroup.” Vladimir Putin told journalists on Saturday.
Moscow and Washington agreed last week to use their influence on the Syrian government and the so-called moderate rebel forces respectively to establish a ceasefire in the war-torn country. While violence diminished, progress is undermined by violations.
Russia has repeatedly complained that the US is failing to keep its part of the bargain and stop the mingling of armed groups, which genuinely want peace in Syria, and those which want the hostilities to continue.
The US for its part accused Russia of not pressuring Damascus enough to facilitate humanitarian access to Syria. The Syrian government cited the danger posed by continued shelling by non-compliant rebel forces as the reason why humanitarian convoys were not allowed to pass through.
Putin said that despite the set-backs, Moscow is hopeful that this attempt at reconciliation in Syria would succeed.
“We are more positive than negative and expect that the promises, which the US administration made to us, would be delivered,” he said.
The two nations are also at odds over another key issue. Moscow says it wants the terms of the US-Russian deal to be made public and endorsed in a UN Security Council resolution. Washington insists that the terms should remain classified, saying that otherwise the truce could be derailed.