On the same side as Turkey on the relevance of the Adana agreement, Russia asserts that the agreement aims to ensure the security of the Turkish border. Moscow says, however, it supports a dialogue between the Assad regime and the YPG. Russia – a staunch ally of al-Assad – proposed on Tuesday, during a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that any rapprochement between Syria and Turkey be based on the Adana agreement. The provisions of the agreement open a legal avenue for Turkey to act in Syria, with the full agreement of Russia. At first, Syria rejected the Turkish demands, but after important negotiations it decided to partially accept the end of the PKK`s presence in Syria. Prior to the agreement, the Syrian government allowed Ocalan to leave the country instead of handing it over to the Turkish authorities, as required by Turkish request. Instead, he was put on a plane to Moscow. [6] In the meantime, the Syrian government has stated that it no longer feels bound by the agreement, but that it is “ready” to return to the agreement if Turkey were to stop supporting the Free Syrian Army and other armed rebel groups in Syria and withdraw its troops from Turkish-occupied Innryrian territories. [10] [12] He added that Ankara could use the Adana agreement to legally justify Turkish operations inside Syria, as Syria was obliged, under the 1998 agreement, to prevent Kurdish fighters from using its territory as a scene of attacks inside Turkey. The Adana agreement, signed by Turkey and Syria on 20 October 1998, was the most critical topic on the agenda of the meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 23 January. The two heads of state and government discussed the agreement at their joint press conference.

Putin stressed that the 20-year-old agreement between Ankara and Damascus remained binding, while Erdogan stressed its importance and said Turkey would keep it on its agenda. It was the first meeting between the two heads of state since the announcement of the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.