DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Russian military bases in Syria are needed not only to fight terrorism, but also to balance the powers in the world, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik.
"That’s on the one hand, on the other hand they [foreign bases] are linked not only to the fight against terrorism, but also to the international situation as a whole, and, with all due regret, the West, in the course of the Cold War and after it, and even today, has not changed its policy — it wants hegemony in making international decisions, and, unfortunately the UN was not able to fulfill the role of a peacekeeper in the world, not even now, in order to regain its true status," Assad said.
Russian military bases in Syria are not occupation, but means to help strengthen stability and security in the country, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik.
"With Russia we have relations that are over six decades old, they are built on trust and clarity… On the other hand, right now, in its policy, Russia is relying on principles, we are also relying on principles. So when Russian military bases appear in Syria, it’s not occupation, on the contrary — it’s the strengthening of friendship and ties, it’s the strengthening of stability and security. And that’s just what we want," Assad said.
Syria to Need Russian Military Presence Even After Security Situation Stabilizes
Syria will require Russian military presence even after the security situation in the country becomes more stable, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik.
"If we are talking about the current period… the period of the fight against terrorism, yes, certainly we need their presence, because they are effective in the fight against terrorism even if the situation in Syria stabilizes in terms of security," Assad said.
"The process of the fight against terrorism is not something quick and fleeting. Terrorism has spread in this region over the course of decades and a lot of time will be needed to overcome it," he noted.
The full text of Assad’s interview to Sputnik will be posted on the Sputnik website on March 30-31.