Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Western countries their "risky" stance on the Syrian crisis could backfire and needed rethinking.
During an interview with RT international news channel, broadcast on Thursday, Putin said some Western nations, by funding extremists in a bid to topple the Syrian government, could hurt themselves in the end without realising their selfish goals.
"Today, some want to use militants from al Qaeda or some other organisations with equally radical views to accomplish their goals in Syria," Putin said, adding such a policy was short-sighted and would lead to dire consequences.
Putin said the US had once backed rebel movements in Afghanistan and thus given rise to al Qaeda, "which later backfired on the United States itself”.
Putin also rejected Western criticism of Moscow`s refusal to support draft UN sanctions against the Syrian authorities and suggestions Russia could change its stance.
Russia would not revise its stance, but Western counterparts should alter their positions, Putin said. Recent history had proved "quite a few of our counterparts` initiatives have not played out the way they were intended to”, he said.