Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari told The Guardian that the U.S., U.K., and France were so sure that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was about to fall in 2012 that they ignored a Russian-made plan in which he would step down as part of a peace agreement. According to Ahtisaari, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin set out a three-point plan—despite Russia’s public support for the Syrian leader. “He said three things: One—we should not give arms to the opposition. Two—we should get a dialogue going between the opposition and Assad straight away. Three—we should find an elegant way for Assad to step aside,” the former Nobel Peace Prize winner said.