Russia concerned about placement of NATO Patriot systems on Syrian-Turkish border - Grushko

Russia's permanent representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said the placemen of the NATO Patriot systems on the Syrian-Turkish border concerns Russia.

During a meeting with Russian journalists, Grushko said that it is "an obvious step in the direction of involving the alliance in the events in Syria."

Grushko said he "communicated to members of the NATO-Russia Council our concerns about the inquiry made by Turkey regarding the placement of Patriot systems on the Syrian border at a recent meeting with the NATO secretary general and at the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of ambassadors.

"The administration of the alliance earlier said more than once that Syria is not Libya and that NATO does not see its role in the situation in Syria, but the placement of air defense systems is an obvious step in the direction of involving NATO in the events in Syria, and this involvement may increase and become irreversible in the event of an incident or provocation on the border," he said.

Grushko said Russia "is closely monitoring the statements made by NATO officials on this issue."

"We have taken note of the fact that the decision NATO plans to make is purely defensive and is aimed at de-escalation in the area of the Syrian-Turkish border and that NATO has no plans to impose a no-fly zone," Grushko said.

At the same time, Russia is operating under the assumption that "in order to achieve reliable and solid settlement in Syria there needs to be energetic work with all parties to launch a political process as per the Geneva document, not demonstration of military force," he said.

"We believe there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria and it should only be political," he said.

The Syrian issue is expected to be raised at the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of foreign ministers scheduled to taka place in Brussels on Dec. 4.

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