Syria asks Russia for financial and economic aid
Syria has asked its ally Russia for financial and economic aid to help soften the effects of Western sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Russian media reported Saturday, reported dpa.
Syrian deputy prime minister for economic affairs Qadri Jamil, who headed a Syrian delegation visiting Moscow, said the country particularly lacked oil derivatrives such as diesel.
The delegation had "requested a certain sum in hard currency, to bridge the complicated situation in Syria," Jamil said, according to Moskovskij Komsomolets newspaper.
There was no immediate Russian response to the request. Russia, which has a veto in the UN Security Council, has so far blocked all resolutions against Syria, which it sells arms to.
"Russia has taken over the task of supporting Syria economically in the current situation," Jamil was quoted as saying. He said sanctions by the United States and European Union were illegal.
Meanwhile, Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin criticized a vote in the UN General Assembly on Friday condemning the Syrian regime.
"This resolution only heightens the confrontation and will not encourage the conflicting parties to enter into dialogue," Churkin said in New York. Moscow has rejected calls for al-Assad to step down.