MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On May 1, Fatih Hassoun, a representative of the Syrian armed opposition told Sputnik that Russia had made proposals aimed at creating zones of de-escalation. According to the documents obtained by Sputnik, Russia proposed to set up four safe zones: one in the Idlib province, a second to the north of the city of Homs, a third in eastern Ghouta, and a fourth in southern Syria. On May 3, a source in one of the delegations at the Astana talks told Sputnik that the document on Syria safe zones would enter into force 24 hours after its signing. The determination of the borders, however, may take two weeks after the signing, during which time Russia may provide its military police to ensure order in these zones.
The Russian lawmaker said that the United States and other countries of its coalition would strongly hinder the decision on the security zones.
"But if it [the decision on the establishment of such security zones] is taken nonetheless, I do not rule out the possibility that there will be a necessity to increase the number of our military police there [in security zones] that will ensure peace process and order in these areas," Klintsevich said, noting that it would be in conformity with the decree of the Russian Federation Council on the use of armed forces in Syria, adopted in September 2015.
The new round of the Astana talks, which brings together the sides to the Syrian conflict — Damascus and armed opposition — as well as three ceasefire mediator states, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, kicked off on Wednesday. The meeting at the expert level took place on Tuesday.
The first three rounds of talks on the Syrian settlement brokered by the mediator states were held in Astana on January 23-24, February 15-16 and March 14-15. During the talks, the participants agreed, among other points, to set up a ceasefire monitoring group.