21:09 GMT25 January 2020
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    Moscow's military assistance to Damascus in its fight against foreign-sponsored terrorist groups has been a game-changer for the Syrian War, political analyst Bogdan Bezpalko told Radio Sputnik, adding that it is prime time to launch the peace process in the war-torn Arab country.

    "Russia, its Aerospace Forces and its Armed Forces in general have turned the tide of the war in Syria," he said. "At the same time Russia will maintain its military presence in the country, but it will be limited. Should the conflict become increasingly intense, we will still be able to help Damascus and deploy more forces" to Syria.

    These comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Syrian government and the armed opposition had signed a ceasefire agreement. They also pledged to launch peace talks meant to resolve the deadly crisis which was sparked in 2011. The deal was brokered by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Iraq, as well as the United Nations expected to be invited to join these efforts in the future.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also expressed hope that the Trump administration will be a part of this process.   

    Bezpalko, a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations, pointed out that Russia's peacemaking activities will be met with mixed reception.

    "I think that Egypt's and Saudi Arabia's points of view will differ. Other stakeholders will also have differing opinions on the issue. Iraq has also been forced to fight against Daesh. Jordan has been repeatedly threatened by the militants located in Syria. Qatar has always supported 'moderate' opposition. Clearly it will have its own point of view," he elaborated.

    Bezpalko suggested that all those who will take part in the peace process could reach a compromise.

    Political analyst Georgy Fyodorov was more skeptical, saying that the United States and its allies will hardly praise Russia for its efforts to bring lasting peace to Syria.

    "It is common knowledge that our presence in Syria is like a bane for the West. Mainstream media will act accordingly," he told Radio Sputnik.

    Fyodorov also commented on Russia's decision to reduce its military presence in Syria.

    "The war cannot go on forever. The tide has turned in favor of the Syrian Arab Army. There are agreements between the warring parties. This is why we can expect that the conflict will deescalate in the near future. I think that we are also withdrawing because Washington's influence on Syria will diminish in the coming months," he said.

    Related:

    Step Toward Peace: What Comes Next for Syria After Ceasefire Enters Into Force
    Syria Ceasefire Shows Russia-Turkey Cooperation 'Huge Potential' – Erdogan Aide
    Nationwide Ceasefire Takes Effect in Syria
    Syria Believes in Russian Guarantees for Ceasefire, Mistrusts Turkey
    Tags:
    military presence, peace process, Syrian conflict, Syrian crisis, Russian aerial campaign, Sergei Lavrov, Vladimir Putin, Syria, Russia
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