Russia Pledges Extensive Aid to Syria

Russia Pledges Extensive Aid to SyriaRussia Pledges Extensive Aid to Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to support Syria's government "politically, economically and militarily," syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in Moscow on Monday.

"I received a promise from President Putin to support Syria politically, economically and militarily," Muallem said at a press conference with his Russian counterpart after meeting Putin, AFP reported.

After meeting Muallem, Putin reiterated that his country would continue to stand with Assad's government, quashing rumors to the contrary.

"We are convinced that in the end, the Syrian people will be victorious … And our policy, which is intended to support Syria, Syria's leaders and its people, remains unchanged."

Putin also raised the possibility of a new international coalition to fight "terrorism," especially the Islamic State militant group, which holds large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

"If the Syrian leadership considers (forming such a coalition) acceptable and possible, we will do our best to support you," the Russian leader said. "We will use our good relations with all the countries in the region to try to create this kind of coalition."

But Muallem appeared more sceptical about the prospect at the press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"I listened with great interest to what President Putin had to say about the situation in Syria and the need to create a regional-international alliance to combat terrorism. I know that Putin is a man who works miracles, but an alliance with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the United States would require a very big miracle."