Putin vows independence on Syria, Iran

February 24, 2012 22:11

SAROV, Russia - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday he believes some nations are using fears that Iran could acquire nuclear weapons as a pretext to seek to "change the regime".

In remarks nine days before a presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also said Russia's position on Syria in the UN Security Council showed that Moscow had no intention of being a "yes man" for the United States.

"I think our position on the Syrian issue in the UN Security Council shows that we do not intend to play along with anyone," he said, after being asked at a meeting with Russian security analysts whether it was time "for Russia to stop playing along with the Americans on everything."

Russia has joined China in vetoing two draft resolutions that would have condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad's government over its bloody crackdown on the opposition in Syria, and Putin said his country's stance showed it was an independent actor on the international stage.

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