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Russia and U.S. May Discuss Syria on Thursday

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns are expected to meet this week to discuss the situation in Syria, a news report said Tuesday.

The meeting is expected to take place on Thursday at the Friends of Yemen meeting in London that the U.S. delegation headed by Burns will attend, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified official with the Foreign Ministry.

Just days ago, the Foreign Ministry denounced Western nations' support for the Syrian opposition after U.S. President Barack Obama's administration promised to provide Syrian rebels with nonlethal aid and the political opposition with $60 million, the Associated Press reported.

Russia has repeatedly voted against sanctions on the Syrian regime at UN Security Council meetings and said President Bashar Assad should not be forced out.

Last week, Alexander Fomin, the head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, told Ekho Moskvy radio that arms shipments to Syria were being intercepted and the cargo seized despite the fact that Russia is not violating any international agreements.

"A real war has been declared against us," he said, "I would say a secret one."

He also said the Russian budget was incurring major losses because payments for supplies were being frozen by Western banks.

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