The summit in Sochi slated for Feb. 14 will bring together Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in their first meeting since the United States announced a pullout from Syria.
In an interview with major Russian media outlets — Kommersant, Ria Novosti and TASS — Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said Moscow wants “the American occupation to end.” For Russia, an ideal scenario would include the handover of US-controlled territory to the Syrian government. These include the eastern bank of the Euphrates, Manbij and the US outpost at al-Tanf hugging the borders of Jordan and Iraq. However, it remains unclear whether the Americans are ready to withdraw from all these areas. The US military base in southeastern Syria and the 55-kilometer (34-mile) safe zone around it raise the most questions from Moscow.