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January 27, 2022

Putin: Syrian president’s fate not a priority

Russian president backs Russian ban on US adoptions.

Russia declared Thursday that its goal is to end the bloody conflict in Syria, not help the nation’s embattled president cling to power at all costs, CNN reports. “We do not have special economic relations, and Bashar al-Assad has not visited Moscow a lot in his tenure,” President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference. “We are advocating the solution which would prevent the collapse of the region and the continuous civil war… not retain al-Assad and his regime at any price.”To do that, he said, talks between opposing sides are crucial.“First, people should negotiate, agree on how their participation would be guaranteed … not first destroy everything and then try to negotiate,” he said. Putin said Russia is “not concerned” about al-Assad’s fate.“We understand what’s going on there (in Syria). We know that this family has been in power for 40 years,” he said. On the other hand, the Russian President has defended a ban on Americans adopting Russian children, which has been proposed by the Russian parliament, BBC informs. He said the bill, a response to the US Magnitsky Act which bars entry to Russian alleged human rights violators, was “appropriate”. Russian officials, he said, were not allowed to sit in on US cases involving the mistreatment of Russian children. He also spoke about relations with fellow ex-Soviet states Ukraine and Georgia and sought to dispel speculation about his health.A number of cases where Russian children have apparently been mistreated by US adoptive parents have made headlines in Russia. Mr Putin said he still needed to read the Russian bill in detail, though he backed it in principle. The rate of adoption in Russia is low. Some 3,400 Russian children were adopted by foreign families in 2011, nearly a third of them by Americans. “The State Duma’s response may be emotional, but I consider it to be appropriate,” Mr Putin said, referring to Russia’s lower house. He called the Magnitsky Act “unfriendly”. The act replaced the US Jackson-Vanik amendment, which dated back to the Cold War. “They have replaced one anti-Soviet, anti-Russian law with another… That is very bad. This, of course, in itself poisons our relations,” Mr Putin said.He said the US had its own human rights abuses to address, pointing to mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

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