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President Vladimir Putin has warned the West against taking one-sided action in Syria, but says Russia "doesn't exclude" supporting a U.N. resolution on punitive military strikes if it is proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people.
Putin spoke in a wide-ranging interview to The Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television late Tuesday at his residence outside Moscow.
It was the only one he granted prior to the summit of G-20 nations in St. Petersburg, which opens Thursday.
The summit was supposed to concentrate on the global economy but now looks likely to be dominated by the international crisis over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war.
Putin expressed hope that he and President Barack Obama would have serious discussions in St. Petersburg.
Obama says he will continue to engage Putin, even though they've "hit a wall" in their relationship.
Obama says although Putin is rejecting the idea that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his people, he's quote, "always hopeful" that he'll change his position.
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