Topic: Protests in Syria
MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - The conflict between Syrian government troops and the opposition could evolve into a “protracted” civil war, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday.
“The situation can develop in different directions. I think it may become protracted,” said Bogdanov, who is also the Russian president’s special envoy to the Middle East. “You know, it was initially forecasted that the conflict would last two, three, four months, but it [has gone on for] almost two years.”
He also reiterated Moscow’s proposal for talks with all Syrian opposition groups.
“It’s possible that contacts with new [Syrian] opposition groups, with whom we have never communicated before, will be established,” he said.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.