Medvedev Criticizes Nations Backing Syrian Opposition

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday criticized countries siding with the Syrian opposition and insisted Moscow was staying neutral in the conflict.

"We don't support anybody in this conflict, neither President (Bashar) Assad nor the rebels, contrary to what people generally think," Medvedev said in an interview with Finnish broadsheet Helsingin Sanomat.

"But unfortunately, the point of view of some states is more one-sided. One side (the government) has to leave immediately and the other (the opposition) has to be supplied with weapons. This is wrong in my opinion," he said.

Russia has had tense relations with the Syrian opposition which has repeatedly accused Moscow of siding with Assad in the conflict that according to activists has claimed 37,000 lives.

Moscow has urged the opposition to seek a negotiated solution with the regime without interference from abroad.

Russia is a longstanding ally of the Syrian regime, to which it supplies arms despite Western criticism. Moscow has defended its right to trade weapons with Syria, so long as it does not break any U.N. sanctions.

Together with China, Russia has blocked three Western efforts to obtain U.N. resolutions threatening sanctions against the regime.

Source: Agence France Presse

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