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Russia accuses U.S. of double standards over Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at a news conference after a meeting of the Russia-Arab cooperation forum in Moscow February 2
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at a news conference after a meeting of the Russia-Arab cooperation forum in Moscow February 2

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian accused the United States of applying double standards over Syria on Friday and blamed Washington for blocking a U.N. Security Council statement condemning a car bomb attack in Damascus.

The car bomb killed 53 people on Thursday on a busy highway, damaging nearby Russian embassy buildings in the Syrian capital.

"We are disappointed that, as a result of the United States' position at the United Nations Security Council, the terrorist act in Syria was not condemned," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a joint news conference after talks with China's foreign minister.

"We believe this is double standards and see in it a very dangerous tendency by our American colleagues to depart from the fundamental principle of unconditional condemnation of any terrorist act, a principle which secures the unity of the international community in the fight against terrorism.

Russia has used its status as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to protect President Bashar al-Assad from three consecutive resolutions aimed at putting pressure on him to end the nearly two-year old conflict.

The United States has pushed for Assad's departure but Moscow says his removal must not be a pre-condition for any solution of the conflict.

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice, Writing by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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