Russia offers asylum to Syria’s Assad, report


The Israeli Maariv newspaper on Sunday reported that Russia proposed to the Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara to assume the powers of President Bashar al-Assad for a transitional period and until elections are being held. This in exchange for Assad being granted a political asylum in Moscow.

According to the report, Shara visited Moscow several days ago. Maariv quoted Israeli officials as saying that al-Shara visited Moscow secretly on December 16 and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior Kremlin officials. The Israeli newspaper said Russian officials confirmed Shara’s visit to Moscow against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis in Syria. Russian officials, however, refused to disclose further details.

The newspaper added that the Russian proposal is one of the offers raised to resolve the crisis in Syria. It says that the United States agreed to this proposal. According to Ma’ariv, the difficult situation in Syria and the fear of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power raise concern in Russia , which is Syria’s closest ally in the region.