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The Boston Globe

World

Putin defends policy on Syria

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday strongly defended Russia’s implacable opposition to military intervention in Syria and he sharply chastised the United States for its role in toppling Moammar Khadafy of Libya, describing that outcome as a mistake that created chaos and ultimately led to the death of Ambassador J. Christopher ­Stevens in Benghazi.

Putin, responding to a question at his annual end-of-year news conference, rejected an assertion that Russia was making a mistake, potentially isolating itself and at risk of losing influence in the Middle East, by opposing intervention in Syria, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad is now nearly two years old. Putin pointed to Libya as his evidence that intervention by the NATO alliance of Western ­nations had caused more harm than good.

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