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Russia and China drawing a line in the sand in Syria

Russia will offer Washington no explanation for arms deliveries to Syria, and together with China, will prevent the U.N. Security Council from approving any military intervention in the conflict-torn nation, its foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Using his annual news conference to draw lines in the sand on Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said veto-holding Security Council members Russia and China would stand firm against foreign intervention. “We will insist – and we have an understanding with our Chinese colleagues that this is our common position – that these fundamental points be retained in any decision that may be taken by the U.N. Security Council,” Lavrov said.

Russia has been the most vocal supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a 10-month government crackdown.

The United States, France and Britain, along with Russia and China, are permanent Security Council members with the power to block any resolution from passage.

A Russian-operated ship carrying what a Cypriot official said was bullets arrived in Tartus last week from St. Petersburg. The United States said it had raised concerns about the ship with Russia, but Lavrov said there was no need for an explanation. “We don’t consider it necessary to explain ourselves or justify ourselves, because we are not violating any international agreements or any (U.N.) Security Council resolutions,” Lavrov told an annual news conference.

An unnamed military source was quoted as saying in December that Russia had delivered anti-ship Yakhont missiles to Syria.

[Reuters]

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