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Russia not to impose arms embargo against Syria

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MOSCOW (PTI): In a clear snub to the US and European Union, Russia on Thursday said it will not ban the sale of arms to Syria and that the EU sanctions on such sales do not apply to Moscow.

"Russia will do whatever is not prohibited by any regulations, rules or agreements," Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying by the government-run RIA Novosti.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had spoken against arms embargo on Syria.

Russia is Syria's major arms supplier, with contracts worth at least USD 4 billion as of 2011.

Moscow maintains a naval base in Syria's Tartus port in the Mediterranean Sea and has announced plans to send its aircraft carrier and two warships next week.

After the imposition of arms embargo on Syria by the US and EU, the Arab League has also called for joining it, amid mounting pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit in the wake of continued crackdown on the opposition.

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Russia  Syria  arms  
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