Russia's Putin warns against attacks on Iran, Syria

MOSCOW Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:29pm EST

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin smiles during a meeting with business owners from the Altai region, in the city of Barnaul, February 21, 2012.   REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin smiles during a meeting with business owners from the Altai region, in the city of Barnaul, February 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is concerned about the "growing threat" of an attack on Iran over its nuclear program, warning that the consequences would be "truly catastrophic."

In an article on foreign policy for publication on Monday, six days before a March 4 presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also warned Western and Arab nations against military intervention in Syria.

"I very much hope the United States and other countries ... do not try to set a military scenario in motion in Syria without sanction from the U.N. Security Council," Putin said, according to a transcript.

On Iran, he said that "the growing threat of a military strike on this country alarms Russia, no doubt. If this occurs, the consequences will be truly catastrophic. It is impossible to imagine their real scale."

(Writing by Steve Gutterman Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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