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Putin pressures Obama over Syria

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-31 22:55

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin addressed Saturday his US counterpart Barack Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, urging the latter not to initiate armed intervention into Syria.

"What would I say (to Obama)? I would address him not as a counterpart, not as a US president, not as a head of state, but as a Nobel Peace Prize winner," Putin said on a visit to Far East's Vladivostok amid bubbling Western attempts to hit the Syrian government.

Recalling US military move in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Russian leader asked: "Has it settled any problem?"

"There is no calm, no democracy, which allegedly was the aim of our partners. There is no civil peace and balance," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying.

Putin said allegations that the Syrian army used chemical weapons were "utter nonsense" as it was on the offensive side.

"It defies any logic, especially on the day when U.N. monitors went there," he said. "I am sure that this is nothing but a provocation by those wishing to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict and win support from powerful players in international affairs, primarily the United States, of course."

Meanwhile, Putin said he had not discussed the situation with Obama after the accusations arised, saying the upcoming Group of Twenty (G20) summit due next month in Saint Petersburg would be "a good forum" for that.

The Russian leader hailed the British parliament's 285 to 272 vote on Thursday to drop participation in possible military operation, saying "there are people guided by common sense there."

Also on Saturday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Washington's threat to use force against Syria was "unacceptable."

"Any unilateral force action in circumvention of the U.N. Security Council, no matter how limited it is, would be a direct violation of international law, undermine the prospects of a political-diplomatic settlement of the conflict in Syria, and lead to a new cycle of confrontation and casualties," he said in a statement.

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