MOSCOW (Kurdistan 24) – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov, has confirmed the Russian stance toward Kurdish rights in Syria as ‘still supportive,’ members of Syrian’s Kurdish National Council (ENKS) delegation to Moscow said on Thursday.
“Our meeting with Mr. Bogdanov revealed that Russia calls for protecting the rights of Syrian Kurds through the constitutional committee that will be announced in September,” Ibrahim Biro, an ENKS senior member, told Kurdistan 24.
Biro noted that although the results of the last round of Astana talks — a series of negotiations on the Syrian crisis in the capital city of Kazakhstan led by Russia, Iran, and Turkey — have been “negative and oposed to Kurdish rights in Syria,” the Russian position was still supportive.
According to Biro, Bagdanov reported that Russia is “ready to work for the constitutional rights of the Kurds” to solve the Syrian issue.
The ENKS member added it was still not clear what Russia is considering with regards to governance for Syrian Kurds.
However, the Syrian Kurds are unlikely to accept anything less than autonomy in the country’s northeast.
A roadmap presented to Damascus and Moscow in January by the local Kurdish-backed administration proposed that the northeast of Syria remain autonomous from Damascus.
Biro also affirmed Russia is not part of the US-Turkey safe zone agreement in northeastern Syria, but was still concerned by the return of refugees to liberated areas.
“The safe zone will play a significant role in reducing tensions in northeast Syria, but Russia is concerned that the return of refugees may cause a demographic change,” he said.
Forced demographic change has been a concern for the people in northeastern Syria as well as they fear Turkey may push Syrian refugees from Idlib and Aleppo who are living in Turkey to return and settle in predominantly-Kurdish regions.
Editing by Nadia Riva