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Jun 6, 2013

Insight: Russia’s Syria diplomacy, a game of smoke and mirrors

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Sitting at a long table in Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Syrian opposition leaders outlined a plan to protect Moscow’s interests if the Kremlin agreed to the removal of its longstanding ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

Throughout the meeting last July, one of many since the start of Syria’s civil war, Russian officials sat stony-faced. When the Syrians had finished, there was a long silence.

Jun 6, 2013

Russia’s Syria diplomacy, a game of smoke and mirrors

MOSCOW, June 6 (Reuters) – Sitting at a long table in
Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Syrian opposition leaders outlined a
plan to protect Moscow’s interests if the Kremlin agreed to the
removal of its longstanding ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

Throughout the meeting last July, one of many since the
start of Syria’s civil war, Russian officials sat stony-faced.
When the Syrians had finished, there was a long silence.

May 31, 2013

Moscow threatens to speed missiles to Syria but also offers to delay

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia could speed up delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if the West intervenes, but also floated the idea of suspending the shipment, Russian media reported on Friday, as Moscow set out its negotiating position ahead of peace talks.

A Russian arms industry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as threatening to hasten delivery of the hotly-contested S-300 missiles if the West were to impose a no-fly zone or Israel were to launch new air strikes.

May 31, 2013

Russian S-300 missiles unlikely to reach Syria for months

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles will probably arrive in Syria only after several months, but more Israeli air strikes or the creation of a no-fly zone would speed up delivery, a Russian arms industry source said.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said it would fulfil an order for the long-range surface-to-air missiles to Syria as a deterrent against foreign military intervention.

May 30, 2013

Assad says Russia will honor weapons deals

BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has yet to send advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, a source close to the Russian defense ministry said on Thursday, but President Bashar al-Assad said Moscow was still committed to the contract to deliver them.

A Lebanese newspaper had earlier quoted Assad as saying in an interview that Moscow had already sent a first shipment of S-300 missiles. When the actual interview was broadcast, however, the Syrian leader stopped short of saying the missiles had arrived.

May 16, 2013

Russia says Iran must take part in proposed Syria talks

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Iran must take part in a proposed international conference to end Syria’s civil war, but that Western states wanted to limit the participants and possibly predetermine the outcome of the talks.

Conflicting comments from Russia and the West over Iran’s role in the possible meeting have added to disagreements which already threaten to derail the conference proposed by Moscow and Washington last week.

May 13, 2013

Russia’s gays fear more violence after brutal murder

MOSCOW (Reuters) – They beat him. They shoved beer bottles in his anus. They tried to set him on fire. Then they crushed his head with a heavy stone.

A 23-year-old man in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd was tortured and killed after revealing he was gay during a drinking session last Thursday night, investigators said, taking a rare step by linking a murder to homophobia.

May 8, 2013

Kerry avoids criticism of Russia on rights record

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian human rights activists on Wednesday but disappointed many by avoiding any harsh criticism of the Kremlin’s record on civil liberties and democracy.

A day after talks in Moscow at which he and Russian officials agreed to try to bring Syria’s warring parties together to discuss ending a civil war, Kerry discussed with human rights campaigners what they say is a clampdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin.

May 7, 2013

U.S., Russia push for rapid talks to end Syria carnage

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia and the United States have agreed to bury their differences over Syria and hold urgent international talks to find a settlement that can end the carnage of a civil war that is inflaming the entire Middle East.

Visiting Moscow after Israel bombed targets near Damascus and as President Barack Obama faces new calls to arm the rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia had agreed to try to arrange a conference as early as this month involving both President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his opponents.

May 7, 2013

Russia, U.S. to convene Syria peace conference

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia and the United States agreed on Tuesday to convene an international conference, possibly by the end of this month, to try to end the civil war in Syria and prevent bloodshed tearing the country apart.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry announced the agreement after talks in Moscow, despite their countries’ differences over Syria, and said the Damascus government and the rebels fighting it should be invited.

    • About Thomas

      "Thomas Grove covers politics and general news in Moscow. He worked in Istanbul from 2006-2010, covering political, financial and energy news."
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