The Russian Perspective
"I consider it necessary to have a dialogue with Russia. However, this dialogue must be firm and honest, otherwise it has no purpose and it’s a sham."
"I let President Putin know that if he should come to Paris, I wouldn’t accompany him for the ceremonies but that I was ready to discuss Syria."
"I'm ready to meet President Putin if we can make progress on peace."
French President Francois Hollande
"Now that Russia has become a party to the war in Syria since last year… this has aggravated the situation with the West, because not only has Russia successfully prevented Assad from falling – a year ago there was a chance that he would be overthrown – but Russia has also increased her own position on the international stage. And that, of course, is something that the Western powers do not like." "In some ways we should see the Syrian conflict as a conflict between the West and Russia. Four years ago I’ve said that the real target in Syria was not Assad but Putin. And I think we can see this angle coming back again." John Laughland, director of studies, Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, Paris (as reported in RT)
"There were some events scheduled, including the opening of a Russian cultural and religious center, [and] exhibitions. Unfortunately, those events were struck off the program, so the president decided to cancel his visit to France for now."Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
How convenient to be able to point to a cultural event being postponed as the guiding reason for Vladimir Putin to put off his visit to Paris. How convenient for Francois Hollande as well, that the embarrassment of welcoming the Russian president with all his baggage of seething resentments at the West and its sanctions resulting from Crimea/Ukraine, topped off by the insults thrown at Moscow from NATO countries and particularly the United States and the United Nations chiming on on "war crimes", leading France to recommend that the International Criminal Court sit in judgement.
The problem of course, is that the French President and the rest of the West condemning Moscow for its Syrian intervention is that they've got it all wrong. It is Syria's Bashar al-Assad who deserves support and protection from the intolerable, ugly and vicious campaign by Syrian terrorists disguising themselves as 'rebels' to violently remove a legitimate government from his legal status as president of a country in which he not only has popular support but one in which an influx of foreign jihadis continues to threaten stability not only in Syria but in the entire Middle East.
So Russia, by supporting the Syrian military with air cover is only performing a global duty that any rational and responsible government should do, coming to the aid of a collegial nation battling radical Islam. To conclude on the basis of inadequate evidence and facts on the ground that either Syria or Russia is responsible for the gruesome kind of attacks that the jihadis engage in is spurious; an obvious effort to discredit Russia that simply will not fly. Why even Turkey's irascible president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on side with Russia.
As for the cancelled trip; once again, it was occasioned by Paris' decision to change the itinerary of the trip. And since Vladimir Putin is an extremely busy man it makes no sense for him to waste his time fruitlessly arriving in a European capital unprepared to welcome him as befits his status and the stated agenda. Needless to say, it is also extremely awkward that French officials have committed themselves to an ICC prosecution linked to charges of war crimes into Russian and Syrian airstrikes in Aleppo.
That the West prefers to suspend belief in Moscow's explanation that it targets terrorists not civilians, despite that civilians have a penchant of simply getting in the way, perhaps deliberately sustaining injuries in a conspiracy with the West to slander Russia, is their problem, not Mr. Putin's. After all, it seems clear enough that it is the West manipulating terrorist groups for the purpose of removing the honourable president of Syria from power. Something that Iran and Russia will simply not permit, as staunch allies of Mr. Assad.
The month-long aerial bombing campaign over eastern Aleppo is meant to target the terrorists holding Syrian Sunni civilians hostage. The issue of humanitarian groups, hospitals, schools, homes and shops being destroyed is an unfortunate reality, but to ascribe these destructive bombings as the responsibility of Syria and Russia is to misinterpret what has occurred. Once the pro-government Syrian forces fully engage in their ground offensive approaching the north, east and south of the city what the West claims to be a deadly siege will conclude.
And from that time forward, peace will descend. At which time the United States and its allies can feel themselves free to pursue their own agenda, purportedly to destroy the Islamic State. Russia, in the meantime, must have a free hand to destroy the Syrian terrorists without interference, since the alternative is, of course, the unthinkable; a larger clash between a very-well-armed Russia and NATO forces who after all, have no stomach for such a confrontation.
As for the Aleppo Today TV station's claims along with Qasioun news agency claiming that bunker-busting bombs courtesy of Russian armaments are being used in eastern Aleppo on the Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood; utter nonsense.