No new talks happened between Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and Russia recently, Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Saleh Muslim told journalist Amed Dicle on Thursday.
The leader of the main Kurdish political party in the region believes the interruption of dialogue can be attributed to the Turkish government’s opposition to these discussions.
Russia allows Turkey to exert influence on Kurdish matters, according to the Syrian Kurdish leader. “Turks are guided completely by Russians. [Russians] can make them do anything they want, and in return, [Turks] demand to be able to kill and eliminate Kurds as they wish,” he said.
Turkey’s military presence in Syria prevents Kurds from achieving their democratic rights, Muslim continued, and both Russia and the Syrian regime are leveraging Turkey’s involvement to deny Kurds fundamental democratic demands.
According to Muslim, the Syrian opposition groups Turkey has financed and trained are not likely to cut off relations with Ankara any time soon, or lay down the weapons they use against the Syrian regime.
“The groups Turkey support are in two categories: The likes of Sultan Fatih, Sultan Murad, etc. are comprised of Turks. The remaining groups are Turkmens in Syria and Iraq. These groups have their own problems to solve,” Muslim said.
Muslim also said Turkey was doing everything in its power to obstruct a resolution in Syria.
Previous relations between AANES and Russia
In February 2016, the autonomous region established a representative office in Moscow, marking a significant development in the growing relationship between Russia and the region. Russia was actively supporting the autonomous region in the diplomatic arena, advocating for its inclusion in the Geneva III peace talks on Syria more prominently than any other country. This support was also evident in Russia’s May 2016 draft for a new constitution for Syria, which reflected some of the positions held by the autonomous region.
Throughout 2017, representatives of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) were seen alongside Russian military personnel at Russian military bases in Syria, displaying both Russian and YPG flags.