Russia defends weapons trade with Syria

MOSCOW, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday defended Russia's arms trade with Syria.

"We've explained the facts: No matter what we supply to other countries in the region, this can in no way affect the balance of power in the region," Lavrov said at the 38th Munich Security Conference in Germany. "We don't supply firearms and what we supply is not used in the conflict."


Lavrov denied Russian weapon sales to Syria had any effect on the outcome of the uprisings. Western governments have urged Russia to crack down on such trade with Syria in anticipation of a "Libyan scenario," RIA Novosti reported.

Russia was one of the strongest supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad during the Syrian uprisings. Russian government officials stated this week a resolution calling for Assad to step down would be vetoed.

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