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Putin slams 'cynical' West on Syria, Iran

27 february 2012, 18:51
Vladimir Putin. ©RIA NOVOSTI
Vladimir Putin. ©RIA NOVOSTI
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin on Monday hit out at the West's "cynical" stance on Syria and warned against strikes on Iran in an article published ahead of his likely return to the Kremlin in weekend polls, AFP reports.

The aggressive tone of Putin's messages echoed the diplomatic battles he waged as president in 2000-2008 and may only feed concerns about Russia's policies on his return for a six-year term in Sunday's election.

Russia's current premier strongly defended Moscow's decision to jointly with China veto two UN Security Council draft resolutions condemning the Syrian regime for its crackdown on the opposition.

He accused the West of "lacking the patience to work out an adjusted and balanced" resolution that also required the resistance forces to halt their fire and pull back from flashpoint cities such as Homs.

"All that remained was to demand that the armed opposition do the same as the government -- namely, withdraw their fighting units and detachments from the cities," Putin wrote in the Moskovskiye Novosti daily.

"A refusal to do so was cynical," Putin said in his seventh and final article released ahead of the vote.

Putin had led Russia's opposition to NATO's air campaign against Moscow's Soviet-era ally Libya and on Monday suggested that the West's support for the Arab Spring revolts may have been rooted in commercial interests.

"It seems that in countries that went through the Arab Spring -- just as had been the case in Iraq -- Russia ended up losing its position on local markets that it had worked on developing for decades," said Putin.

"One can get the idea that these tragic events were to a certain extent stimulated not by concern for human rights but by someone's market interests."

Putin also issued a stark warning against strikes on Iran -- another nation with close military and commercial ties with Russia -- over its controversial nuclear programme.

"Russia is unquestionably worried about the mounting threat of a military strike against this country," said Putin.

"If this happens, then the consequences will be truly catastrophic. Their real extent will be impossible to imagine."

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