Kremlin Denies Report of Russia-U.S. Deal on Assad’s Future

MOSCOW (Reuters) -
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russia’s involvement in Syria has led to resumed talks about Syria’s future in Vienna. So far there’s no progress but at least there are talks, notable for including Iran, at Russia’s insistence, for the first time. They are notable as well for easing the Kremlin’s isolation after its takeover of Crimea and backing for pro-Moscow forces fighting the central government in Ukraine. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R.) shakes hand with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this file photo. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

The Kremlin said on Thursday that a report by the al-Hayat newspaper regarding an agreement between Russia and the United States on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was not true.

The newspaper reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had told several Arab countries that Russia and the U.S. reached an understanding on the future of Syria’s peace process, including Assad’s departure to another country at some unspecified stage.

Al-Hayat published information which does not correspond to reality,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a conference call with journalists.

“Russia is advantageously different from other nations because it does not discuss the issue of the self-determination of third countries either through diplomatic or other channels.”