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Russia Opposes Sanctions Against Syria --> The UN Security Council (file photo) (CTK) 26 October 2005 -- Russia says it will do "everything necessary" to stop attempts to introduce sanctions against Syria.

The announcement was made today by Russian Foreign Ministery spokesman Mikhail Kamynin, who is traveling with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the Middle East.

The statement came after the United States and France circulated a draft resolution at the UN threatening sanctions against Syria if it doesn't cooperate with an international probe into the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

If Syria does not fully cooperate with the investigation, the draft says the Security Council intends to consider "further measures," including sanctions, to ensure compliance by Syria.

Russia is a permanent council member with veto power.

Meanwhile in Paris, French President Jacques Chirac scheduled a surprise meeting today with Saad Hariri, the son of Rafik Hariri.