On Tuesday, Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari told The Guardian that in 2012 Moscow suggested a reconciliation deal for Syria, suggesting to "find an elegant way for Assad to step aside" after launching peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition.
According to Ahtisaari, the senior peace negotiator and former Finnish president, the plan was rejected by Western states because they were "convinced that Assad would be thrown out of office in a few weeks.”
"Russia is not engaged in the change of regimes, offering elegant or inelegant ways to step aside — this is what Russia has never been engaged in," Peskov told reporters.
The spokesman added that from the beginning of the Syrian crisis Russia has repeated that only the Syrian people can, by use of democratic procedure, determine their future.
A number of Western countries have long been vocally supportive of what they call "moderate" rebel fighters, while Russia has repeatedly stated that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria, and that citizens of the country must choose their government and leaders, without outside intervention.
In August, the Syrian president said that he is grateful for Russia's assistance as Moscow has consistently stated its firm position in support of Damascus during the military conflict