MOSCOW: The upper chamber of the Russian parliament has voted unanimously to let President Vladimir Putin send Russian troops to Syria.
The Federation Council on Wednesday discussed Putin’s request for the authorization behind the closed doors. Sergei Ivanov, chief of Putin’s administration, said in televised remarks that the parliament voted unanimously to approve the request.
Ivanov said the authorization is necessary “not in order to achieve some foreign policy goals” but “in order to defend Russia’s national interests.”
Putin has to request a parliamentary approval for any use of Russian troops abroad, according to the constitution. The last time he did so was before Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.
Earlier, the Kremlin announced Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin has sent a request to Russia’s upper chamber of parliament asking lawmakers to authorize using the Russian army abroad.
The Kremlin’s statement did not specify where Putin was considering sending the troops but said the request was made “in line with recognized principles and norms of the international law.”
Valentina Matvienko, chairman of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of parliament, was quoted earlier in the day as telling the lawmakers they would be considering the request on Wednesday.
The chamber cut its live web broadcast in order to consider Putin’s request. It was not immediately clear when the vote is expected.
Putin has to request a parliamentary approval for any use of Russian troops abroad, according to the Russian constitution. The last time he did so was before Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.
Putin’s request comes after his bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, where the two were discussing Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria.
The Kremlin reported that Putin hosted a meeting of the Russian security council at his residence Tuesday night outside of Moscow, saying that they were discussing terrorism and extremism.