OREANDA-NEWS Alexander Lavrentyev, the Russian president's special envoy on the Syrian settlement, told a news conference after the 18th international meeting on Syria in the Astana format that Moscow urged Ankara to refuse an operation in northern Syria and will not abandon these attempts, TASS reported.

According to him, Turkey's decision may stimulate separatist sentiments of the so-called autonomous administration of north-eastern Syria, and neither Turkey, nor Russia, nor Iraq, nor Iran are interested in this.

Lavrentyev stressed that the sides should continue working and find a solution without resorting to force. However, Turkey's national security problems can be solved through the taking of full control of the borders by the Syrian government forces. The special envoy pointed out that the presence of American forces in the north-east of Syria remains an important factor.

Earlier Russia demanded the immediate withdrawal from Syria of all foreign forces that are illegally present there. According to First Deputy Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, the United States is not coping with the fight against terrorism "even on a local, let alone global, scale.