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Russia hopes for Security Council Syria text on Wednesday

BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country has so far shielded Syria from U.N. Security Council censure, said he hoped the body would approve on Wednesday a draft statement on the situation there.

The 15-nation Security Council has been holding talks on the Western-drafted statement that would express "full support" for U.N.-Arab League Syrian envoy Kofi Annan's drive to end violence that has brought Syria to the brink of civil war.

"The Council text reflects the reality in Syria and supports Annan's aims. We support it fully," Lavrov told a news conference after talks in Berlin with his German and Polish counterparts.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he expected the Security Council to send "the necessary signal this afternoon to help the people of Syria".

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson, writing by Gareth Jones)