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Russia said on Friday it had not changed policy on Syria, distancing itself from comments by a diplomat who said it could not be ruled out that President Bashar al-Assad's opponents might win.
The comments on Thursday by Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov were welcomed by Washington, where State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Russia had "finally woken up to reality.”
But Russia's Foreign Ministry said Bogdanov had merely reiterated the country's position on Syria. Moscow wants a deal to be reached on the basis of an agreement secured at an international meeting in Geneva earlier this year.