Russian politicians give Putin go-ahead for troops in Syria

Russian politicians give Putin go-ahead for troops in Syria

The upper chamber of the Russian parliament has voted unanimously to let President Vladimir Putin send Russian troops to Syria.

The Federation Council discussed Mr Putin’s request for the authorisation behind the closed doors on Wednesday.

Sergei Ivanov, chief of Mr Putin’s administration, said in televised remarks that the parliament had voted unanimously to approve the request.

He said the authorisation is necessary “not in order to achieve some foreign policy goals” but “in order to defend Russia’s national interests”.

Mr Putin has to request parliamentary approval for any use of Russian troops abroad, according to the constitution.

The last time he did so was before Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

Mr Putin’s request came after his bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, where the two men discussed Russia’s recent military build-up in Syria.

The Kremlin reported that Mr Putin hosted a meeting of the Russian security council at his residence outside Moscow on Tuesday night, saying that they were discussing terrorism and extremism.

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