Russia says no shift on Syria after Putin victory

March 6, 2012 19:52

MOSCOW - Russia warned the West on Tuesday not to expect a shift in its stance on Syria following Vladimir Putin's victory in a presidential election, saying its position had nothing to do with domestic politics.

One month before Sunday's election, Russia vetoed a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution that would have condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad over a crackdown on protesters and supported an Arab League call for his exit.

Putin made accusations of global meddling by the United States and its allies a theme of his election campaign, prompting suggestions his tough talk was aimed at a domestic audience and that Moscow might be more flexible after the vote.

"Russia's position on a Syrian settlement was never subject to political considerations and is not formed under the influence of electoral cycles, unlike those of some of our Western colleagues," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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