Telephone conversation with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad 2022-02-25 14:00:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, at the initiative of the Syrian side. The President of Syria expressed strong support for Russia's special military operation to protect the civilian population of the Donbass republics, condemning the destabilising policy of the United States and NATO, which had led to a serious degradation of the situation in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin thanked Bashar al-Assad for his principled position and shared his assessment of the latest developments in the context of the decisions taken and being implemented by Russia. The leaders discussed the Syrian settlement and, in particular, promoting the political process within the Astana format in order to ensure the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria. The conversation also covered a number of bilateral cooperation issues, primarily in trade and the economy. The sides agreed to continue interaction and contacts at various levels.