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In a Duma address, Lavrov defended Russian arms sales to Syria and told lawmakers that the Kremlin's stance is rooted in "respect" for international law.
Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that Russian arms sales to Syria are for "external threats," the Associated Press reported.
In a speech to the lower house of Russia's parliament, the Duma, Lavrov said the Kremlin's stance is based in respect for international law and that the weapons provided are not ones that could be used against protesters.
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The Kremlin backs Assad's claim that the uprisings are a foreign conspiracy, the AP wrote.
Russia has vetoed and blocked several United Nations Security Council resolutions condemning Syria's violence, but Lavrov indicated growing annoyance with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. “Regrettably, he hasn’t always followed our advice in his activities,” Lavrov told the Duma.
Today, Syrian troops reportedly entered the southern city of Dera'a, where the uprising against the Syrian government began one year ago. Young schoolchildren were arrested and tortured for writing anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the city, sparking more protests against the Assad regime.
The New York Times reported that 150 tanks and "busloads" of troops combed the city on Wednesday.
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SANA, the Syrian state news agency, wrote that Lavrov said "Moscow aims at achieving peace in Syria and maintaining its citizens' lives, preventing conflict and violence in the region and preserving stability and security in the area near Russia's southern borders." ""Our goal is the achievement of peace in Syria, the preservation of human lives, not allowing an inter-religious explosion in the Middle East," according to the Moscow Times.