LT formin urges wait-and-see approach to Russian withdrawal from Syria

Linas Linkevičius
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

“Just like with all Russian statements, this one should be viewed with caution until we see their action in reality,” the minister told BNS Lithuania in a telephone interview from Kiev on Tuesday.

Following Monday’s reports about Russia’s military withdrawal from Syria, a Russian defense ministry official said on Tuesday that Russia would continue its attacks of the Islamic State and al Nusra Front fighters, as well as other armed groups listed by the United Nations (UN) as terrorist organizations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s statements on withdrawal of troops came after the completion of tasks assigned to the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, Linkevičius questioned the Russian president’s words about the achievement of goals.

“When we recall the introduction of Russian troops to Syria – when they said their goal was to fight terrorists, the goal has not been achieved. So the goals had to be different,” said the minister.

Non-governmental organizations that observed the war in Syria had repeatedly stated that the Russian air raids were not aimed at terrorist groups only but also at civilians and opposition fighters fighting against Syria’s President Bashar al Assad.

After launching the air raids, Russia has been directly involved in the war in Syria since last September.

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