Russia on Friday denied holding discussions with other nations on a political transformation in Syria that would include the departure of President Bashar Assad.
"I read somewhere today that supposedly, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said something along the lines of the United States and Russia discussing a political transformation in Syria after the departure of Bashar Assad," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.
"If this was really said, this is not true. There were no such discussions and there could not have been such discussions. This completely contradicts our position," he told reporters.
"We are not involved in regime change through either the U.N. Security Council or through involvement in sort of political conspiracies."
His comments came only moments after the foreign minister of France also mentioned holding such talks with Syria's Soviet-era ally.
"The Russians are not today attached to the person of Bashar Assad," Laurent Fabius said.
"They clearly see he is a tyrant and a murderer. But they are sensitive about who might take his place, if Assad is ousted. The discussion is about that," he told France Inter radio.
Lavrov also denied holding such talks with France.
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