The Kremlin declared today that the Russian Federation had offered to meet Biden administration officials in Sochi, Russia to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria, where both nations have come close to altercations in recent years.
The United States refused to participate in an international meeting on Syria in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi though it had been invited, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told reporters on Tuesday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“We also sent an invitation to the conference to our American partners… but unfortunately, it was rejected. The Americans are occupied with domestic affairs and apparently, they haven’t determined their Syria policy yet,” he pointed out.
Lavrentyev noted that the previous meeting of the Astana group on Syria had taken place more than a year ago because coronavirus restrictions had affected such activities. The Sochi meeting will last for two days. Bilateral and trilateral consultations are being held on February 16 and a plenary session is scheduled for February 17.
Former U.S. President Trump moved to remove most American forces from Syria, leaving small Special Forces teams to guard oil wells in disputed areas. Within days of being inaugurated, Biden sent troops back into the Syrian conflict. Populists like former Trump advisor Steve Bannon declared the reason is to appease American defense contractors who want to earn profits from the war.