Syrian opposition and Western countries involved in the peace negotiations hope that the departure of Russian forces from Syria will influence the position of the government in Damascus during discussions in Geneva.
US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to him, this is the best opportunity for ending the Syrian conflict that has lasted five years.
The Geneva talks are part of a diplomatic push to end a conflict that has killed more than 250,000 people
Russian warplanes flew home from Syria on Tuesday as Moscow started to withdraw forces that have tipped the war to President Bashar al-Assad’s way.
A peace process for Syria endorsed by the U.N. Security Council in December calls for a Syrian-led process that establishes “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance”.