News / Middle East

Medvedev: Support of Syria Rebels 'Unacceptable'

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) gives an interview to journalists representing French media ahead of his visit to Paris at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow, November 26, 2012.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) gives an interview to journalists representing French media ahead of his visit to Paris at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow, November 26, 2012.
VOA News
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has criticized France's support for Syria's opposition, calling the decision "unacceptable."

Speaking to reporters Monday ahead of a visit to France, he said the move to recognize the new opposition coalition as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people amounted to "regime change."

"What will be the fate of the Assad regime and Mr. Assad's personal fate? It's up to the Syrian people to decide," said Medvedev. "Let this be decided, among others, by the opposition forces as well. It's advisable that they should come to power via a legal procedure, not as a result of being supplied with arms by some other country. Therefore, the desire to influence another county's government by recognizing some political force as the sole bearer of its sovereignty doesn't seem to me entirely civilized."

France was among the first to recognize Syria's newly formed opposition coalition. Moscow has been criticized for its continued refusal to support any foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the past 20 months.

Medvedev also defended new laws passed by his government that critics have described as a crackdown on dissent.

"Our civil society has changed, it has become more active, authorities have to consider it, authorities have to react to it. Everyone has to obey the law, including those who don't like the authorities and are discontent with the line offered by the authorities, president, premier, or a party," he said. "But the authorities have to change too, because if it is wise enough, if it wants to keep influence the situation, then it has to correspond to the level of development of the civil society."

The prime minister also said he is not ruling out a return to the Russian presidency. Medvedev stepped down in May after serving one term as president, making room for Vladimir Putin to return to the Kremlin.

"If I'll have enough strength and health, and our people will trust me with this kind of job on the future, then I don't rule out this turn of events. But this depends on the whole bunch of factors," he said. "I have once said - one should never refuse anything because you know one should never say never, especially since I already stepped into this water once and this is that kind of water where you can step into twice."

Medvedev swapped jobs with Putin, who until his inauguration in May was prime minister for four years. The job swap angered many Russians and sparked protests against the men's grip on power.

Putin was elected to a third presidential term in March with 64 percent of the vote. He served as president from 2000 to 2008, but term limits prevented him from running for a third consecutive term. He then became prime minister under Medvedev.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
November 27, 2012 8:45 AM
Regieme change Libya style is what the French want to happen in Syria. The French chickens will go home to roost... Watch out Hollande...


by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
November 27, 2012 5:27 AM
thats the tendancy for tribalism if not racism if it were in a cosmopolitan state,russia is not showing any sign of being a mediator but has only been an ally of assad and not syrians..shame on medvedev.

tut

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid