Iran president says ready to play constructive role in ending war in Ukraine
Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi assured his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of Tehran's preparedness to play a positive intermediary role in ending the 11-month-long war between Russia and Ukraine.
Raeisi made the proposal during a telephone conversation with Putin on Thursday.
The Islamic Republic, the Iranian chief executive said, was ready to play an active and constructive role toward ending the hostilities and establishing peace in the ex-Soviet Republic.
Moscow says it started the war in order to defend the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev, and also to "de-Nazify" its neighbor.
Russia holds that the West's anti-Russian agendas, including its eagerness for inclusion of Ukraine in NATO -- and, therefore, the Western military alliance's expansion right up to Russia's borders -- forced Moscow to launch the war on the ex-Soviet Republic.
The Iranian proposal came while, ever since the beginning of the war, Ukraine's Western allies, led by the US, have been pumping Kiev full of advanced weapons and slapping Russia with a slew of sanctions, steps Moscow says will only prolong the conflict.
Last month, the United States agreed to Ukraine's persistent demand to provide it with American Patriot missile systems. And no earlier than on Tuesday, the Pentagon said the US would soon begin to train scores of Ukrainian troops on how to deploy and maintain the military hardware.
Adding to his remarks, Raeisi said the regional issues, including the ones that pertain to the Caucasus region and Syria, could only be resolved through cooperation and coordination.
"The Islamic Republic invariably lays emphasis on the [importance of] strengthening of regional convergence and [points out] the detrimental effect of foreign intervention [in the region]," he said.
Concerning Syria, the Iranian president stressed that the issues that are related to the Arab country had to be pursued through the Astana Format. Iran and Russia, as the allies of the Syrian government, as well as Turkey, which sides with the opposition, set up the Astana peace process in January 2017 intending to put an end to the Syrian conflict through the involvement of the Syrian government and the opposition.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi emphasized the need for constant development of the economic ties between Iran and Russia, especially in the transit and energy areas. He said such Russo-Iranian cooperation stands to institutionalize beneficial relations that served to profit both the two nations and the countries of the region.
Putin, for his part, welcomed Iran's proposal for the establishment of peace in Ukraine and likewise stressed the importance of coordination within the Astana Format among the concerned parties toward the resolution of Syria's problems.
He also considered comprehensive economic cooperation between the countries to be very fruitful for their relations.
"Expansion of the countries' capacities and cooperation, including in the transit and energy areas, stands to benefit the economies of the entire Eurasian region," the Russian president concluded.