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Russia Said to Halt Syrian Arms Supplies After U.S. Pressure

Russia halted deliveries of light arms to Syria to avoid exacerbating a conflict between government forces and opposition groups, according to a person close to the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin’s government ended supplies of weapons including anti-tank missiles and grenade-launchers after reports in January of a Russian shipment of ammunition to Syria provoked criticism from the U.S., the person said by phone today, declining to be identified because the information is confidential. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said then that Russian arms shipments to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were of “grave concern.”