Russia is again dismissing any suggestions it might be planning to offer political asylum to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed Moscow's position at a news conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in the Russian capital.
"Our German colleagues said [during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Berlin last month] that they thought it would be nice if Russia granted asylum to Bashar al-Assad. We took it as a joke and responded with a joke: Why don't you, Germans, take Mr. Assad if he wants to go somewhere?"
Russia has previously rejected the idea of hosting the Syrian strongman while refusing to say whether it had actually been approached on the subject by the West.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP