Russia’s military police in the de-escalation zones in Syria will carry only light weapons, the head of the Russian delegation at the talks on Syria in Astana, Alexander Lavrentyev, said Wednesday.

ASTANA (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Lavrentyev said that he doesn’t rule out the presence of Russian military police in Syria’s “buffer zones.”

“Of course, these are not combat units of the regular army, but military police units with specific non-combat tasks. However, they will naturally carry some light weapons for self-defense,” Lavrentyev told reporters after a plenary session.

The fourth meeting in Astana format in May was a breakthrough, as the three ceasefire guarantor states signed a memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria. Monitoring over the de-escalation zones is now the main topic on the agenda of the fifth meeting in the Kazakh capital.

It was proposed to create two monitoring centers, Jordanian-Russian-US and Turkish-Russian, responsible for the southern de-escalation zone.

Earlier, Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the defense and security committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, said that if necessary, Russia may boost its military police contingent in Syria for work in de-escalation zones.

For the first time, Russia deployed a military police unit to Aleppo in the end of 2016.

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