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Putin Defends Arms Sales

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that only the UN Security Council could restrict Russian weapons sales abroad, a remark that appeared aimed at defending the Kremlin against criticism of its arms supplies to the Syrian government.

"Only sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council can serve as a basis for limiting weapons supplies," Putin said, Itar-Tass reported. "In all other cases, nobody can use any pretext to dictate to Russia how it should trade and with whom."

The West has criticized Russia and China for vetoing three Security Council resolutions aimed at  pressuring Syrian President Bashar Assad to end a conflict that has killed an estimated 30,000 people in 19 months.


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