14:26 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Members of the Russian Military police stand guard in the northern city of Manbij as Syrians who fled the city of Aleppo due to the fighting prepare to return to their hometown, on April 5, 2017

    Presence of Russian Military Police in Syria 'Buffer Zones' Not Ruled Out

    © AFP 2019 / George OURFALIAN
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    Head of the Russian delegation to the Astana talks on Syria Alexander Lavrentyev did not rule out Tuesday the presence of Russian military police in the buffer zones in Syria.

    ASTANA (Sputnik) — The fourth meeting in Astana format in May was a breakthrough, as the three ceasefire guarantor states signed a memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria. Monitoring over the de-escalation zones is now the main topic on the agenda of the fifth meeting in the Kazakh capital.

    "It is currently difficult to speak of the presence of Russian monitors, representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry, but overall the presence of Russian military police in the buffer security zones is envisaged. Again, this issue has not been agreed on," Lavrentyev told reporters.

    It was proposed to create two monitoring centers, Jordanian-Russian-US and Turkish-Russian, responsible for the southern de-escalation zone.

    Earlier, Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the defense and security committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, said that if necessary, Russia may boost its military police contingent in Syria for work in de-escalation zones.

    For the first time, Russia deployed a military police unit to Aleppo in the end of 2016.

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    safe zones, military police, Syria, Russia
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