Russia may deploy its military to police the borders of planned de-escalation zones in Syria within two to three weeks after finalizing an agreement with Turkey and Iran, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev said on Tuesday.
Moscow hopes to sign the final documents with Ankara and Tehran on Wednesday, he told reporters after a series of meetings in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
Russia and Iran, which back President Bashar Assad’s government, and Turkey, which supports some of the rebels, agreed in principle to create four “de-escalation zones” in Syria in a previous round of talks in May, but put off a planned June meeting where they were supposed to work out the details.
Since the May agreement was announced, the rebel-held stronghold of Idlib province in the northwest of Syria has been mostly calm.
Russian lead negotiator on Syria Alexander Lavrentyev, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attend the fourth round of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov