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You're reading: Russia: West ‘instigating’ Syrian opposition

MOSCOW — Russia says Western powers are "openly instigating" Syrian opposition groups to take up arms in their fight to unseat President Bashar Assad.

Moscow
has been Syria’s key protector throughout the 17-month uprising that
evolved into a full-blown civil war, shielding Assad’s regime from
international sanctions and providing it with weapons despite an
international outcry.

Russia’s Foreign
Ministry claimed Wednesday that the West “has done nothing” to urge
Assad’s opponents to start a dialogue with his government. It claimed
that the “pharisaical” Western approach to the Syrian civil war does not
help resolve the conflict that has killed an estimated 19,000 people.

The
Kremlin, backed by fellow veto-wielding U.N. Security Council member
China, has blocked any plans that would call on Assad to step down.

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