Moments ago, after nearly two hours of private talks in Moscow between Vladimir Putin and France's Francois Hollande, a press conference started in which the two world leaders will share the conclusions of their discussions: will France gravitate closer toward Moscow after the events of the past 2 weeks or will it remain a key block in the NATO anti-Russia alliance?
Some of Hollande's statements so far:
- Assad can not play a role in Syrian future
- France and Russia will share intelligence and exchange information
- France and Russia will coordinate their strikes on the Islamic State, as well as coordinating what should not be hit
- Putin will go to Paris on Monday to join climate change conference
Putin disagrees with Hollande and said that the future of Assad should be "entirely in the hands of the Syrian people", and adds that Russia will not attack areas that are not controlled by terrorist groups and will share intelligence on deciding which those are.
More importantly, Putin explains the reason for the deployment of the S-400 SAM system: Russia never thought it would need to deploy this system as ISIS don't have missiles that can reach the altitudes at which Russian airplanes fly, however it has no air defense protection against Turkish warplane attacks like the one that happened (adding he never expected a Russian jet to be attacked by someone considered an ally), essentially admitting that the S-400s deployed today are a deterrent to further Turkish activity and will be used promptly if a comparable situation to the one from Tuesday is repeated.
Perhaps most important, however, is topic #1, namely who is funding ISIS, and here Putin just said that Russia has observed industrial-scale oil supplies flowing from militant-controlled regions in Syria to Turkey. All we need now is a YouTube clip as proof.
A recording of the press conference is available below: