Russian Security Council Emergency Meeting as Russian Warships arrive in Syria
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc). – Russia´s President Vladimir Putin has called and held an emergency meeting of the permanent members of Russia´s Security Council to discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria and the deteriorating diplomatic relations between Russia, the USA, EU and allies over the crisis. Meanwhile, four Russian Battleship Destroyers which had stopped in Lebanon, have been transferred to the Russian auxiliary naval base in the Syrian city Tartous.
Dmitri Peskov, adviser to Russia´s President Vladimir Putin has informed media, that the participants of the Security Council meeting have discussed and exchanged their views on international issues with focus on the situation in Syria and the Middle East. The Security Council Meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, the Russian Federation Council, the Presidency Council, the Security Council and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of the Interior, and the Minister of Defense, as well as the Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.
President Putin´s Special Envoy to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov, has met the Syrian Ambassador to Russia, Riyad Hadded in Moscow, to discuss the developments in Syria and Russian – Syrian relations. According to a statement, issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov and Ambassador Hadded have discussed the situation in the light of the latest contacts between Russia and representatives of the Syrian opposition as well as Western countries representatives in the attempt to start a dialog and to halt the violence by adhering to the Geneva Statement.
The situation between Russia and the USA, EU, NATO, as well as the allied Gulf Arab states Qatar and Saudi Arabia has been rapidly deteriorating over the last weeks, after a Russia EU Summit over the third EU Energy Packet failed to solve energy security problems at the root of the Syria crisis, after strong statements by Russia´s Ambassador to NATO, the USA´s rejection to condemn acts of terrorism at the UN Security Council, and US Secretary and European governments assurances that they would continue financing the political and armed “opposition”.
The referral of Russia´s Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Middle East Envoy Bogdanov to contacts between Russia and the Opposition as well as western partners, is likely to allude to the latest Friends of Syria meeting in Doha, Qatar, where Bogdanov was present. Shortly after the meeting, a member of the General Secretariat of the National Party of Kuwait had gone public with information about a secret contract that had been signed among other, between the Foreign Mister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Dauvutoglu, Abdulla bin Zayid Al Nahyan, the US Ambassador Robert Ford, the opposition member Riyad Saif, and the representative of the council of Istanbul´s Muslim Brotherhood organization Mohammed Riad Shaqfeh. The contract is detailing the division of Syria into smaller states and the installment of “moderate Islamist regimes”.
After the secret contract was leaked, Russian – US as well as European relations have deteriorated into a deep freeze. At the European Union, debates whether to stop providing weapons to insurgents in Syria have so far not yielded tangible results. Turkey on the other hand, has protested over the fact that the European Council discusses the end to arms deliveries.
While the situation continued deteriorating, the Russian Navy has positioned four Battleship Destroyers closer to Syria first and then to Lebanon. Today the Russian warships were deployed to the Russian auxiliary naval base in Tartous in Syria. So far there has been no official response from either the USA nor the EU, and it is unknown whether eventual military action will be taken. It is not unlikely, that the Russian naval presence will be tasked with preventing further arms shipments through Lebanon or Turkey and into Syria.