Putin says new Syria sanctions would hamper peace talks

Smoke billows in the distance following reported airstrikes on the southern Syrian city of Daraa (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Moscow opposed any new sanctions against the Syrian leadership as they would undermine peace efforts to end the country’s protracted war. 

Russia and the United States are headed for a clash at the UN Security Council as Moscow prepares to veto a draft resolution that would impose sanctions on its ally Damascus.

“In terms of sanctions against the Syrian leadership, I think that now they are completely inappropriate,” Putin said at a press conference in Kyrgyzstan. 

“This would not help the negotiation process but would only interfere or undermine confidence,” Putin said, adding that Russia “will not support any new sanctions in relation to Syria”.

The UN Security Council will vote Tuesday on the text drafted by the United States, Britain and France that would punish 11 Syrians and 10 entities linked to chemical attacks in 2014 and…

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