MOSCOW, May 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s General Staff is opposed to military intervention in Syria, saying this would be meddling in the war-torn country’s domestic affairs, Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry “fully supports” the stance voiced by President Vladimir Putin that Russia is against forcefully intervening in the Syrian civil war to resolve the conflict, Postnikov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.
“I think we will be sticking to this hands-off attitude as long as possible,” Postnikov said adding that it is up to the Syrian people to decide on the country’s future.
About 80,000 people have died in Syria since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar Assad, according to UN figures. Russia, along with China, has faced widespread condemnation over its refusal to approve UN sanctions against Assad’s regime.
Moscow has repeatedly stated it has no interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but is rather concerned that unilateral sanctions would create a power vacuum that would lead to more violence.