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Lavrov: Russia Won't Host Assad

Syria has been consumed by an intense civil war.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow has no intention of offering refuge to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he steps down.

Lavrov, however, said Russia would welcome any other country's offer of a safe haven for Assad.

Lavrov told reporters late on December 21 that some countries in the region had asked Russia to offer safe passage to Assad.

He said Russia responded by telling them to go directly to the Syrian president.

Lavrov stressed that the overthrow of Assad would not stop the violence in Syria.

Russia has repeatedly used its veto right along with China at the UN Security Council to protect Damascus from international sanctions.

Based on reporting by AP, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS