Clinton rejects idea Russia is neutral on Syria

AP News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2012 11:17 AM
Clinton rejects idea Russia is neutral on Syria

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she doesn't quite buy the claim that Russia is neutral in the Syrian conflict.

Speaking in Oslo Friday, Clinton said Russia is viewed in the United Nations, in Damascus and around the world "as supporting the continuity of the Assad regime."

President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) has rejected assertions that Russia supports Syrian President Bashar Assad in the 15-month-old uprising, which has grown from pro-democracy demonstrations into a searing armed conflict that has killed 13,000 people. Putin has said his government will stay in touch with Assad and seek a political solution.

Clinton says: "The continued supply of arms from Russia has strengthened the Assad regime," and "that Russia has maintained this trade ... has raised serious concerns."