Putin: Russian military presence in Syria – not long-term

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday night that Russian troops “will stay there [in Syria] for as long as it is to Russia’s advantage, and to fulfill our international responsibilities.” Speaking in his annual televised call-in show, the Russian leader added, “we are not building long-term installations there and if necessary can withdraw our servicemen quite quickly without any material losses.” He did not elaborate on his intentions for the naval base at Tartus or the Khmeimim air base which Russia had leased from Syria.

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