Putin signals will continue current support for Syria

President Vladimir Putin made clear on Friday that Russia did not want to be sucked into a war over Syria, signaling that Moscow would maintain current levels of support to Damascus in the case of foreign military intervention.

“Will we help Syria? We will. We are helping them now. We supply weapons, we cooperate in the economic sphere, and I hope we will cooperate more in the humanitarian sphere to provide help for those people – civilians – who are in a difficult situation today,” Putin said answering a question during G20 news conference today.

He echoed comments by other Russian officials who have said Moscow will not allow itself to be drawn into the conflict.

At the same time Russia is sending more naval vessels to the coast of Syria, state news agencies reported on Friday, in a move Moscow says will help prevent a threatened U.S. attack on its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

An unnamed senior navy source added to Russian news agency Interfax that 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.

The Russian defense ministry stated earlier that the navy does not intend to take part directly or indirectly in a possible regional conflict.

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