Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview aired on Friday that Moscow and Washington could soon reach a cooperation deal on Syria. “In my opinion we’re gradually heading in the right direction and I don’t exclude that we’ll be able to agree on something in the near future and present our agreements to the international community,” Putin said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
Russian and American officials are holding negotiations in Geneva aimed at reestablishing a ceasefire in Syria and cooperating militarily against the Islamic State and other jihadist groups in the country. “The talks are very difficult,” Putin said.
“One of the key problems is that we insist, and our American partners do not object to this, that the so-called healthy part of the opposition should be separated from the radical groups and terrorist organisations such as Jabhat Al-Nusra.”
Russia and US are on opposing sides of the Syria conflict with Moscow flying a bombing campaign in support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Washington demanding he go.
Any military cooperation between the two sides in Syria could prove a game-changer but many in the US – which is leading a separate coalition against IS – are sceptical that Moscow can be trusted.