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Middle east

Russia warns against ultimatums on Syria

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-29

An arms embargo on Syria would be “unfair”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) said Tuesday, warning that the country's problems cannot be solved by ultimatums and dismissing a Western push for sanctions.

AP - Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday angrily dismissed calls for an arms embargo on Syria and warned against imposing ultimatums on President Bashar Assad’s government.

Sergey Lavrov said that calls for an arms embargo on Syria are “unfair,” adding that militant groups opposing the government have been armed from the outside. He drew parallels to the war in Libya, where he said the West armed the opposition forces despite a United Nations arms embargo.

“We will treat the calls to introduce another arms embargo, this time on Syria, while taking into account the Libyan experience,” Lavrov said at a news conference. “The proposals to introduce a ban on all weapon supplies to Syria are unfair.”

Lavrov added that Syria’s problems can’t be solved by ultimatums and reaffirmed Moscow’s call for a political settlement.

Le Monde journalist Samir Ata discusses sanctions on Syria

“The most important thing now is to stop acting through ultimatums and try to use political means,” he said.

Lavrov criticized the Arab League’s weekend decision to slap sanctions on Syria and urged its members to show “the maximum responsibility.”

Russia has staunchly resisted a Western push for sanctions on Assad’s regime over its eight-month violent crackdown on protests. Moscow also has provided Assad’s regime with combat planes, missiles and other weapons.

At the same time, it has met with prominent opposition leaders earlier this month in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade them to sit down for talks with the government.

Date created : 2011-11-29

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