On September 30, Russia began pinpoint airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group in Syria, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad. US President Barack Obama has criticized the Russian approach, refusing to engage more deeply in the ongoing conflict.
On Wednesday, Washington refused to receive a Russian military delegation to discuss a coordinated approach to fighting terrorism in Syria, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“I have a hard time understanding how our American partners can criticize Russia’s actions in Syria in the fight against terrorism if they refuse to hold direct dialogue on an important subject like political settlement,” Putin said in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana.
Putin also criticized the United States’ lack of any type of agenda in the fight against terrorism.
“I consider this position to be non-constructive, and at the base of this weakness of the American position in this case obviously lies on the lack of any sort of agenda in regard to this issue, obviously, there’s nothing to talk about,” Putin said.
Putin added that little hope remains in cooperation in the Syrian crisis, but Moscow will leave the door open just in case.
“But we will nonetheless leave the doors open and are extremely hopeful for negotiations with all of the participants of this difficult process, including with our American partners,” Putin said.
Syria has been in the state of a civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting on multiple fronts against so-called moderate opposition factions and numerous extremist groups, including Islamic State.
A US-led international coalition has been conducting airstrikes on ISIL positions in Syria without the approval of either the UN Security Council or Damascus.
Earlier this week, Putin said that Moscow, Washington and Brussels should work together to encourage the warring parties in Syria to engage in dialogue to find a political solution to the conflict. In turn, Washington claimed it would cooperate with Russia in its anti-ISIL fight, but only if Moscow accepted the US political strategy to remove Assad from power.