Russian prime minister Dmirtry Medvedev warns of "new cold war" after airstrikes on Syria

James Nickerson
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Medvedev said creating trust is hard (Source: Getty)

The prime minister of Russia has warned that the world is edging closer to a "new cold war" after European leaders accused his nation's airstrikes on Syria of attacking the civilian population.

Dmirtry Medvedev told the 52nd annual Munich Security Conference that a lack of cooperation in Syria was pushing Europe to where it was "40 years ago, when a wall was standing" in the continent.

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“There is no evidence of our bombing civilians, even though everyone is accusing us of this. Russia is not trying to achieve some secret goals in Syria. We are simply trying to protect our national interests," he said.

“Creating trust is hard … but we have to start. Our positions differ, but they do not differ as much as 40 years ago when a wall was standing in Europe. You could say even more sharply: we have fallen into a new cold war."

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The comments come on the same day as French prime minister Manuel Valls urged Russia to stop hitting civilians in the airstrikes.

Valls said that his government "respects Russia and Russia's interests" but that to get back onto the path to peace, the "bombing of civilians has to stop".

Both Valls and Medvedev spoke after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he intends to take back "the whole country" in an interview with AFP.

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