Putin Says Russia To Continue Helping Assad If U.s. Strikes

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(In fact, that same day, Russia’s foreign ministry announced that its experts determined a “homemade” device that Syria’s army does not possess was used in a chemical attack in March. The projectile, the ministry stated, was similar to those used in northern Syria by Bashaar Al-Nasr, an Islamist brigade that is part of the opposition Syria Liberation Front.) Yet despite fierce resistance — even reliable U.S. ally Britain won’t join in any military intervention, following a vote by Parliament — Obama has pressed on. Calling the Syrian attack a “challenge to the world,” the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner has said action is necessary to enforce international chemical weapons bans. His comment on “the international community’s credibility” on Wednesday, while standing alongside Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, reflects his argument that the unfolding debate is not about whether he should live up to his 2012 comment that use of chemical weapons in Syria crosses a “red line” that must be responded to militarily. Rather, he contended, the entire world — not just the United States — has an obligation to respond. Not mentioned, but perhaps implied, is what world power more than any other has blocked international efforts to punish al-Assad’s government: Russia. ‘He is lying, and (he) knows he is lying’ Obama hasn’t been making the case for military action alone. Kerry has been a key part of that effort not just in diplomatic circles, but also while testifying this week before Congress. But Putin is not convinced. The Russian president, in fact, appeared publicly perturbed by at least part of Kerry’s arguments. On Wednesday, he said the top U.S.

Russia, Turkey Raise Syria War Readiness as Obama Seeks Support

Assads government denies the charge, and Putin has questioned the evidence that the U.S. says supports it. Erdogan has repeatedly said Turkey will join a coalition against Assad. Assistance Pledge Putin said today that Russia, which is already supplying Syrias army, will provide assistance to the country if its attacked. He said earlier this week that Russia may resume deliveries of the S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile system, currently frozen, in the event of strikes on Syria that breach international law. Obama is engaged on the home front too, as the Senate and House of Representatives prepare to debate resolutions authorizing military strikes on Syria. His administration says any attack will be limited and wont be aimed at toppling Assad, though Erdogan and U.S. allies in the Arab world say theyd welcome a more ambitious operation. The U.S. State Department warned its citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon and began removing non-emergency personnel family members from the embassy in Beirut and an alert for those in Turkey. The embassy, on its website, cited unspecified threats to the U.S. mission and American personnel. Violence Potential Separately, U.S.

Russia Stocks Poised for Best Week Since 2011 as Crude Advances

But local media said on Friday additional units were also on the way. Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed navy source as saying large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov was heading for the eastern Mediterranean. “The vessel will dock in Novorossiysk where it will take special cargo on board and head to the designated area of military service in the eastern Mediterranean,” the source said without giving more details. RIA news agency quoted an unnamed senior navy source as saying on Friday that the frigate Smetlivy would leave for the Mediterranean on September 12-14 and the corvette Shtil and missile boat Ivanovets would approach Syria at the end of the month. The Defence Ministry declined to comment on the reports but Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday the Russian navy currently had a “pretty strong group” there. “The Russian navy does not intend to take part directly or indirectly in a possible regional conflict,” he told the state Rossiya 24 broadcaster. “Our navy vessels are a guarantee of stability, guarantee of peace, an attempt to hold back other forces ready to start military action in the region.” Landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk and the reconnaissance ship Prirazovye passed through the Bosphorus on September 5. on their way to the Mediterranean and Moscow has also sent missile cruiser Moskva and destroyer Admiral Panteleyev there. Russia has a small naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartous, its only naval base outside the former Soviet Union. Western and Arab states seek to oust Assad, and the United States is considering military strikes to punish Damascus for its alleged use of chemical weapons. Russia, a long-time weapons supplier to Damascus, opposes any U.S.

Russia sends more naval ships to Syrian coast

Photographer: Alexey Maishev/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images Russia will keep on supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assads government if the U.S. launches strikes against the Middle East country, President Vladimir Putin said. Will we help Syria? We will, Putin told reporters in St. Petersburg today after discussing the Syrian issue with U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders at a Group of 20 summit. We are already helping them with weapons and we are cooperating in the economic and humanitarian spheres. Putin is resisting Obamas drive to drum up support for a military strike in Syria, without saying how far he will go in supporting Assad. When asked if Putin would rule out Russias direct involvement in a Syrian conflict, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said we dont know how things will pan out. The Russian leader signaled on the eve of the two-day summit that his country may resume deliveries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if Obama carries through on his threat to attack selected targets to punish Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Aug. 26 said his country wont fight with anyone when asked about a possible reaction to Western strikes against Syria. Russia, which has embarked this decade on the largest rearmament program in more than 20 years, maintains its only military base outside of the former Soviet Union at the Syrian port of Tartus. Navy Deployment The country has been reinforcing its naval presence in the east Mediterranean near Syria while Obama used the G-20 meeting to enlist support for an attack. Most countries in the group oppose such action, Putin said.

The Micex Index (INDEXCF) added 0.3 percent to 1,426.82 by 11:49 a.m. in Moscow, after surging the most since September 2012 yesterday. The gauge was poised for a 4.6 percent jump in the week. OAO Gazprom, Russia s natural gas export monopoly, gained 1.2 percent to 141.69 rubles. Oil producer OAO Lukoil increased 0.8 percent to 1,996.70 rubles. Crude oil was little changed at $108.30 a barrel in New York, heading for a second weekly gain. Russia gets about 50 percent of its budget revenue from the oil and gas industries. The ruble was steady at 33.4305 to the dollar, taking its slide this week to 0.3 percent. For the oil and gas sector, the combination of a weak ruble and high oil price is very positive, Mark Rubinstein, head of research at IFC Metropol in Moscow, said by phone. Gazprom was trading at very cheap levels, investors have finally noticed that. Dixy Group, Russias third-largest food retailer, tumbled 1.8 percent to 426.70 rubles. The company reduced its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization estimate for 2013 yesterday, leading VTB Capital to cut the stock to hold. U.S. payrolls figures today may add to signs of an improving jobs market ahead of the Federal Reserves Sept.