The Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday the Western powers are fighting in the African state of Mali the same forces they are supporting in Arab state of Syria against the President Bashar al - Assad.
“The West is supporting some forces in Syria while fighting them in Mali, ” he stated in an interview with the state - run " Russia Today " channel.
Putin, moreover, stressed that the Syrian government should have recognized the need for fundamental changes in the appropriate time in order to prevent what happened in the country.
" Radical transformations have been matured in Syria, and the Syrian government had to touch it at that time and take the initiative to make the required changes. ”
“If they have done so, what happened wouldn’t have been happened, " Putin said.
During the interview, the Russian leader reiterated that his country is not " a lawyer for the current Syrian government and President Bashar al - Assad, " yet “any opposition is acceptable if it behaves within the framework of Law, ” he stressed.
Warning of the risks waged by the so - called al - Nusra Front, which fights in Syria alongside the Syrian opposition, and does not hide its link to al - Qaeda terrorist movement, Putin pointed out that the West lacks a clear policy toward the group.
“Al - Nusra Front is a major component of the armed opposition and is blacklisted by the U. S., ” he said, while recalling the military support the group has gained from the west.
Putin also expressed hope that the international initiatives, including the Egyptian, the British and the American - Russian ones, will contribute to the creation of new opportunity for a political solution in Syria.
Touching on the US war on terrorism, the Russian President noted that there is a terrorism axis waging in the region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“This worries us. The region is close to our borders, ” he stated.
However, Putin indicated that the United States “does not seek to avoid civilian casualties in its battle against terrorism, ” stressing the need to impose control on drone attacks.
Regarding the world development during last week, Putin said he notices escalating tension in the Middle East, making it clear that the West criticizes Russia and the eastern countries on how they deal with their oppositions, “knowing that it(the West) deals with its opposition in the same way. ”
“We don’t want to interfere in relations between Sunnis and Shiites, ” he voiced.
As for the Iranian peaceful nuclear program, the Russian leader denied his country has any evidence that the Islamic Republic violates the international law in developing its nuclear program.