Russia on Thursday said it opposed the UN Security Council adopting any resolution on Syria, risking a major dispute with the West over the response to the crackdown on Syrian protestors.
"Russia is against any resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria and this has been stated more than once at presidential level," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.
"The situation in this country, in our opinion, does not pose a threat to international peace and security," he said, quoted by Russian state media.
Britain and France have drawn up a new resolution which demands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad end violence against the opposition and lift the siege of protesting cities. It also calls for an arms embargo on Syria.
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday sternly warned Russia and China against blocking the resolution: "If anyone votes against that resolution, or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience," he said.
Human rights groups says more than 1,100 people have been killed throughout the country since the opposition protests against the Assad regime erupted in mid-March.
But Lukashevich insisted the situation in Syria was "best dealt with by the Syrians themselves" and that even discussing the resolution at the Security Council could be dangerous.
Russia has long been considered an ally of Damascus as well as a major arms supplier and Moscow has warned the West not to side with the opposition in the standoff with the Assad regime.
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