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Russia insists Syrian crisis be settled by political means

September 09, 2013, 17:09 UTC+3

Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev: “If a strike is delivered, we can say this is an aggression against another state”

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Alexey Nikolski

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Alexey Nikolski

NOVO OGARYOVO, September 9 (Itar-Tass) - Russia insists the situation in Syria be settled by political and diplomatic means, secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said.

“We hope that our position will be heard,” Patrushev said.

“If a strike is delivered, we can say this is an aggression against another state,” he said.

He said the situation in Syria had not been discussed by the Russian Security Council’s session.

At the same time, Patrushev said, “External threat [for Russia] increases.” “What has happened in Syria can have a certain impact on certain regions and on Russia as a whole,” he said.

The population in Syria is of about 22 million people and two million are refugees. “People suffer troubles and certain countries, the United States for example, talk about possible strikes,” Patrushev said.

Among similar examples he names the death of peaceful civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The existing authorities and the opposition in Syria drifted into confrontation. Certain countries support the opposition. And is the opposition homogenous? Does the opposition include extremist and terrorist groups? One says there is a struggle against Al Qaeda. Isn’t al Nursa Al Qaeda’s element?” Patrushev said.

“If we refer to international law, neither the Senate nor the U.S. Congress can authorise a strike on any state because there is no aggression against the United States. If military actions are planning to be conducted against any country, the U.N. Security Council authorise them,” Patrushev said.

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