Alexei Pushkov
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Alexei Pushkov: Arming Syrian rebels 'would never work'

Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian Duma's foreign affairs committee, has said that arming moderates within the Syrian opposition "would never work" as they are too closely aligned with extremists also fighting the Assad regime.

He told BBC Newsnight's Tim Whewell: "If the decision is taken either in Britain, or in the United States, to send weapons there, evidently they will be shared between the so-called moderate forces and the so-called extremist forces."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is London for talks with the foreign secretary, has made it clear that Moscow would oppose any move to supply arms.

Mr Pushkov also spoke about Russia's foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond and how it compares with that of the United States, and Russia's relations with the West and in particular Britain.

  • 14 Mar 2013
  • From the section Europe