Assad lends support to Russia over Ukraine
In a message to the Russian leader, President Assad “expressed...on behalf of the Syrian people, Syria’s solidarity with Putin’s efforts to restore security and stability to Ukraine in the face of attempted coups against legitimacy and democracy in favor of radical terrorists,” Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.
The Syrian president further hailed Putin for his “wise political leadership and commitment to international legitimacy based on the law that governs ties between nations and peoples.”
Syria supports Putin’s “rational” and “peace-loving” approach which seeks to “establish a global system supporting stability and fighting extremism and terrorism,” added the Syrian leader.
Political crisis erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, when ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
On March 4, Putin denounced Ukrainian opposition’s power grab as a coup, noting that Victor Yanukovych remains the legal president of Ukraine.
The Russian president also dismissed EU and US allegations that his country is acting illegitimately in Ukraine, noting that even if Moscow does use force in Ukraine, it would not violate international law.
On Thursday, lawmakers of Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region requested Russia to let the region join the Russian Federation amid escalating tension over the territory. The Crimean Parliament said if Moscow responded to the demand positively, Crimean citizens could give their view in a referendum on March 16.
Russia has stood by the Syrian nation throughout the foreign-backed crisis which has killed over 130,000 people in the Arab country since March 2011.