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Jun 16, 2012

Both Syrian sides intensifying violence: U.N. monitor

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Both rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are intensifying violence in Syria and striving for military gains rather than peaceful transition, the chief U.N. monitor in Syria, Major-General Robert Mood, said on Friday.

Russia dug in further against Western pressure to discuss a post-Assad Syria, and France’s foreign minister said Paris was considering whether to equip rebels with communications equipment to encourage a “stronger revolt”.

Jun 15, 2012

Russia says it’s not in talks on post-Assad Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is not discussing plans for a Syrian political transformation following the exit of President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday, emphasizing Moscow’s strong opposition to external interference.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council with veto power, have blocked efforts by Western powers to condemn Assad and call for his removal during 15 months of bloodshed.

Jun 15, 2012

Syrian peace plan falters; Russia warns against “plots”

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Both rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are intensifying violence in Syria and striving for military gains rather than peaceful transition, the chief U.N. monitor in Syria said on Friday.

Major-General Robert Mood’s comments came as Russia further dug its feet in against Western pressure to topple Assad, insisting it would not discuss a post-Assad Syria.

Jun 14, 2012

Syrian envoy denies Russia sending helicopters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Syria’s ambassador to Moscow said on Thursday that Russia is not supplying Syria’s government with attack helicopters, the most specific denial yet from Moscow or Damascus of remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Russia is not delivering any helicopters to Syria,” Ambassador Riad Haddad told Reuters, speaking two days after Clinton said the United States had information that attack helicopters were on the way from Russia to Syria.

Jun 4, 2012

Russia turns east to embrace looming China

MOSCOW (Reuters) – When Russia opens a “billion-dollar bridge” on its Pacific coast this summer, Vladimir Putin can expect an enthusiastic audience among the 5,000 islanders whom it will connect to the mainland, at an eye-popping cost per head.

But the president will be looking, too, for attention from a few miles further off, in China, whose rise as a trading and diplomatic partner but also as a potential rival for control of thinly populated Siberia’s resources has brought a new focus in Moscow on both business and military investment in the far east.

May 31, 2012

Russian protest fund manager looks to elite for cash

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Almost a decade after Russia’s richest man was jailed after funding groups opposed to Vladimir Putin, a former top bank manager is chipping at the wall between politics and business in a renewed challenge to the Russian president.

With his Wharton Business School degree and expensive suits, Vladimir Ashurkov, 40, cuts an unlikely figure within the rag-tag ranks of Russia’s political opposition.

May 28, 2012

Russia says both Syrian sides to blame for massacre

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow was deeply alarmed by the killing of at least 108 people in the Syrian town of Houla but that it was clear both President Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebels were to blame.

“We are dealing with a situation in which both sides evidently had a hand in the deaths of innocent people,” Lavrov said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

May 16, 2012

Assad warns against sowing chaos in Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Countries that “sow chaos” in Syria could find the tables turned, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a state-run Russian television station in comments aired on Wednesday.

Assad gave one of the few interviews he has conducted during a 14-month crackdown on anti-government protests to a station from Russia, which has supported him with arms supplies and vetoes in the U.N. Security Council.

May 2, 2012

Russian rights advisers balk at serving under Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Several members of Russia’s presidential human rights council said on Wednesday they planned to leave the advisory council, reflecting doubts that President-elect Vladimir Putin was dedicated to improving human rights.

During Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency, the rights council has drawn attention to reported abuses including in the case of Sergei Magnitsky, whose 2009 prison death has drawn widespread condemnation and strained Russian-U.S. ties.

Apr 26, 2012

Russia accuses Syrian rebels of using “tactics of terror”

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia accused Syrian rebels on Thursday of using terror tactics and suggested they were more to blame for ceasefire violations than President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

The remarks by the foreign ministry differed from assessments by Western states which have been calling on government forces to end attacks and withdraw from cities and towns under a U.N.-backed truce.

    • 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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