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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs