Russia’s medium-term plans in Syria include improving the capabilities of the Syrian armed forces which would allow Russian troops to relocate to existing Russian bases in the country, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
“We aim to establish a process, a political settlement [in Syria] between all the sides involved,” Putin also said during a question and answer session with citizens.
He said that after boosting the capabilities of the Syrian military, Russia’s air force would continue helping it wherever necessary.
Putin also said Russia’s military industrial complex had benefited greatly from testing its latest weapons in Syria. Combined with this, the experience acquired by the Russian army in Syria is “priceless,” he said.
Speaking in a televised call-in show Thursday, Putin said the campaign in Syria that Russia has conducted since September 2015 has allowed the military to test its state-of-the art weapons in real combat.
The experience allowed engineers to polish weapons designs and has given a “new quality” to the Russian military, he said.
When asked about relations with the US, Putin said that boosting ties with the United States would help bring stability to Syria and the Middle East, and there was already evidence of this happening.
“As far as the flashpoints are concerned … there are positive examples of our cooperation,” he said. “The Syrian problem, Mid-Eastern problem on the whole … There are other flashpoints and we are very hopeful for the United States’ constructive role in the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis … We are ready for a constructive dialogue.”