Vladimir Putin calls for 'political process' on Syria

Assad travels to Russia to meet with Putin, cites progress in war on 'terrorism'

The Russian leader said the military successes have created suitable conditions for the resumption of the political process in Syria.

Russia's weapons export increased in 2017 in spite of sanctions, Rostec State Corporation CEO has told President Vladimir Putin. [The Russian] president noted and congratulated Assad on the considerable success of the government forces in the fight against terrorist groups.

"The next task, of course, the economic recovery and humanitarian aid for those people in a hard situation", Mr Putin added.

Russian Federation is a key ally of Assad and has provided support which has allowed the Syrian regime to make territorial gains in recent months against rebels. Its military support not only ensured the survival of Mr Assad's regime, it changed the course of the war. The UN has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress towards ending the conflict.

The MEA in a statement on Monday said that: "This informal Summit in Sochi between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin is in keeping with the tradition of regular consultations between India and Russian Federation at the highest levels."However, MEA sources said here a large part of informal meeting is "one to one but there may be only restricted delegation level meeting".

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"We know it will not be easy because some countries do not want stability to return to Syria".

This assumes significance against the backdrop of the challenge posed to India-Russia defence partnership by impending USA sanctions against several Russian entities involved in military supplies to India under the controversial Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Russian television broadcast short clips from the two men's discussion.

Peskov restated Moscow's position that the economic sanctions were illegal, but added that Russian Federation was keen to talk with Angela Merkel and the French leader Emmanuel Macron, whose visit is scheduled for next week, Deutsche Welle reported.

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