Putin, Cameron probe for Syria solution amid missile row

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he discussed “all possible options” to solve the conflict in Syria with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.


Putin made the statements in a press conference after talks with Cameron in the southern of Sochi, AFP reported.

“At the initiative of the prime minister, we spoke about the possible options for a positive development of the situation and about practical steps in this regard,” Putin said, as quoted by state media.

Shortly before the press conference, the Russian foreign minister said Moscow does not intend to stop sending Syria the advanced air defense system.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would be fulfilling contracts it has already concluded with Damascus but it did not include the sale of the S-300 system, Reuters said.

“Russia is not planning to sell -- Russia has sold a long time ago, and is completing supplies of the equipment -- which is anti-aircraft systems, according to the already signed contracts,” Lavrov told reporters in Warsaw.

He added that “this is not forbidden by any international laws, this is defensive weaponry.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Thursday that the sale of Russian missiles to Syria would be “potentially destabilizing” for the region.

“The missiles are potentially destabilizing,” Kerry said as quoted by Reuters.

In the meeting Kerry said the United States would prefer that Russia not sell weapons to Syria, reassuring that it has opposed earlier that transfer of missile system to the country.

Kerry said the transfer of Russian is considered a threat to Israel, Reuters said.

He did not however specifically comment on a report that Russia was poised to sell new advanced ground-to-air missiles to the Syrian regime, the agency reported.

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