30 October 2015, 08:52 GMT
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Only Syrian citizens should decide the country's political future, including the role or non-role of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, adding that Moscow’s stance on the matter will remain unchanged.
“Only Syrians can determine Assad’s political future,” Peskov said.
Earlier in the day, The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported that the United States had changed its view on the settlement of the Syrian crisis, and is now ready to discuss the future of Assad during the talks on Syria, currently being held in Vienna.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with troops loyal to Assad fighting on multiple fronts against opposition factions and extremist groups, including Islamic State (ISIL).
The United States and its allies have long supported Syrian opposition factions that they consider to be moderate in their call for Assad's resignation. Russia, in turn, recognizes Assad as the legitimate Syrian authority.