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EU Syrian sanctions don't affect Russia

  |   Dec. 1, 2011 at 2:58 PM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The European Union ban on supplying arms to Syria does not affect Russia, a top Russian government official said Thursday.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said the country will engage in any trade "not prohibited by regulations, rules or agreements," RIA Novosti reported. Russia has sold $4 billion worth of arms to Syria this year, making it the country's largest supplier.

The United States, EU and Arab League have imposed sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Navi Pillay, the top U.N. human rights official, said Thursday that more than 4,000 people have been killed in clashes between dissidents and the government, an increase from earlier estimates.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that the country opposes sanctions against Syria.

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