MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow is conducting the operation in Syria not to consolidate its position in the Middle East, but to eliminate terrorist groups, which are potentially dangerous for Russia, Lavrentiev said Saturday.
"I want to stress it again that what we are doing now, the Russian side, we are not pursuing any strategical goals to secure a foothold in the region [in Syria]," Lavrentiev told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
Lavrentiev said that Russian observers had been stationed in the de-escalation zones in Syria's Eastern Ghouta and to the north of the Homs province.
Moscow hopes that the ceasefire regime in conflict-torn Syria will become impossible to reverse, the official noted, adding that the Syrian opposition sees Russia as a partner ready for a dialogue.
"We hope that the ceasefire regime will become truly irreversible," Lavrentiev added.
The Syrian civil war between the government forces and various opposition and militant groups has been raging since 2011. The international community has taken a number of actions aimed at the conflict settlement through talks on various platforms including those in Geneva and Astana. The sixth round of talks on the Syrian settlement in the Kazakh capital was held on Thursday and Friday.