Russia’s politics in the world arena can be explained by their desire to compete with the United States and defend its spheres of influence. This was the view expressed by German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an interview with Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung.
“In Russia’s actions I see a willingness to participate in world politics on equal terms with the United States and an attempt to defend and expand its spheres of influence,” he said. Also according to Steinmeier, “Moscow is concerned that radical Islam could spread from the Middle East through Central Asia to Russia.”
Commenting on the situation in Aleppo, the foreign minister noted that “there can be no military solution for the conflict in Syria,” and Russia should know it.
According to Steinmeier, “the presence of hundreds or even thousands of militants from Jabhat al Nusra in Syrian Aleppo does not justify the bombardment of the town.”
Earlier, Steinmeier stated that “those who want to fight against terrorists do not attack hospitals.” He stressed that bombardments in Aleppo should be stopped “as soon as possible.”
Steinmeier also insisted that it is necessary to enforce a longer “humanitarian pause” in Aleppo. According to the minister, in a longer humanitarian pause they should evacuate injured people from eastern Aleppo and provide the citizens of the city with necessary assistance. The deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Ryabkov, noted that to return to negotiations on a new humanitarian pause it would be necessary for “opponents to provide adequate behavior of anti-government groups which, in particular, broke up the medical evacuation planned for the previous humanitarian pause.”