News / Europe

    Clinton Says Russian Arms Sales to Syria Raise Concerns

    US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech in Oslo, Norway, Friday June 1, 2012. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech in Oslo, Norway, Friday June 1, 2012.
    x
    US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech in Oslo, Norway, Friday June 1, 2012.
    US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech in Oslo, Norway, Friday June 1, 2012.
    OSLO, Norway - Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country is not supplying arms to the Syrian government to use against opponents. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Russian arms sales to Syria are of "serious concern" and could lead to civil war.

    President Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Russia does not support any side in what he called an "extremely dangerous" situation in Syria. Following talks in Berlin, he said Russia "does not provide weapons that could be used in a civil conflict."

    The Russian government has long defended its continuing arms sales to Damascus, saying President Bashar al-Assad's forces have the right to protect themselves against rebels that Damascus says are being supplied by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

    Secretary of State Clinton says Russian arms have helped President Assad withstand international pressure to step down after 15 months of violence.

    "We know that there has been a very consistent arms trade even during this last year of violence in Syria coming from Russia to Syria. We also believe that the continuing supply of arms from Russia has strengthened the Assad regime," said Clinton. "What those arms are being used for we can not speak with any accuracy. But the fact that Russia has continued to sustain this trade in the face of the efforts by the international community to impose sanctions and to prevent further arms flowing to the Assad regime and in particular the Syrian military has raised serious concerns on our part."

    Chancellor Merkel says she and President Putin both favor a political solution, with the work of U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan as a starting point. President Putin said he believes it is possible that Mr. Annan's mediation can work, but it requires what he calls "a certain level of professionalism and patience" warning that "nothing should be done with force and be expected to have an instant effect."

    Secretary Clinton discussed the conflict in Syria with Norwegian government officials in Oslo Friday. She says "very strong opposition" from Russia is making it harder to put together an international coalition against President Assad.

    "Their position of claiming not to take a position is certainly viewed in the Security Council, in Damascus, and elsewhere as a position supporting the continuity of the Assad regime," said Clinton. "And if Russia is prepared, as President Putin's remark seems to suggest, to work with the international community to come together to plan a political transition, we will certainly be ready to cooperate.

    She says the United States is looking forward to finding a way to work with Russia to end the violence and support the Annan plan. Without Russian support, she says, Mr. Annan can not expand his mandate to push Damascus to confront what she calls terrible dangers in Syria.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MVP from: usa
    June 04, 2012 10:57 AM
    Clinton is a NEW WORLD ORDER drone affiliated with the Bilderbergs, THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION, all pushing for a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT! BEWARE OF PROJECT ESHELON!!!

    by: Farmboy from: Nova Scotia
    June 01, 2012 5:31 PM
    Yes , Russian arms sales are a concern , especially to American arms dealers .

    by: Get Serious from: Arizona
    June 01, 2012 3:50 PM
    Wow, NATO - "Wolf Group", have not heard of that term except once or twice used in WWII referring to Nazi Combat groups or sub groups. I would imagine if you apply that to what happened in Libya with Quaddafi - who would be the wolves? His own people or NATO - because I don't recall a NATO solider executing Mr. Quaddafi as I recall it was one of his own people. What is in question here is human and civil rights as applied by sovereign country and whether or not we all standby and let it happen or whether we solve it - diplomatically, militarily, economically or old school COLD WAR style - arm both sides and see who comes out on top or worse yet get drawn into the conflict. Those are the choices - period. So, the question is how big does the death count climb before we all care? It has been proven econmic sanctions won't work, cold war tactics are way too scary, militarily - we need to compare it to Libya - or hopefully somebody in the upper echelons of Syria cuts the snakes' head off. We only need to look at Egypt, or Algeria to compare. Do not be naive to think that the Arab Spring is an orchestrated western conspiracy to push NATO through each and country with left wing or communist support. We all saw the results of Libya and the "barbarian execution" of Quaddafi - but YOU answer the question was the end result better for the people of Libya or worse? And how could it have been better that Mr. Quaddafi would have received a better meeting to his end in power? Stop bashing the west or NATO - find a better way get Al Assad out of power - because really it isn't about the US or Russia - it is about the person ordering the killings, massacres versus trying to solve their internal insurgency via some diplomatic means.

    by: vkmo from: Silicon Valley
    June 01, 2012 3:24 PM
    Warning: And anybody who challenges him gets Putinjail.

    by: Not pro-US? then dictator
    June 01, 2012 2:56 PM
    Hey, are you dictator? Are you feeling not safe because you are a dictator? Don't worry, just pro-US, then you will get safety. Are you still doubting? Trust me, look at Saudi Arabia -- the most dictatoria country in the world. They are one of our best friends because they are pro-US and willing to help us get rid of our enemies such us Iran..... There are many other dictators who are our good friends.

    by: Jake from: Earth
    June 01, 2012 2:39 PM
    Maybe Americans should worry about all the assualt rifels and machine guns being sold to Mexican Nationals and how this is fueling the violence of the drug lords/cartels.

    by: NATO -- A wolf group
    June 01, 2012 2:12 PM
    It's only way to cope NATO(wolf group) that Russia unites with China.

    by: Such A Joke!
    June 01, 2012 2:08 PM
    Is your government not pro-western? Ok, no problem, let's start: first, western countries will encourage some people of your country to be "anti-government org.", then encourage and support this "anti-govenment" to make issues and violence that forces your government to put down the messy and violence in order to keep your country in order, then western countries start to condemn you "Massacring" "peaceful protests", then request UN that is controlled by western countries to condemn too, then NATO, the wolf group, is getting ready to attack, then .... Everything is like this model, no difference. Such a joke!!!!!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora