President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia would not rule out sending fresh arms to the Syrian regime and warned the West against arming "criminals" in the rebellion.
"If we conclude such contracts, then we will deliver on such contracts," he told reporters after a G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
"We are supplying arms to the legitimate government in accordance with legal contracts," Putin said after G8 leaders had called for peace talks on the Syrian conflict "as soon as possible".
Referring to Western suggestions of arming Syria's rebels, Putin said: "We are calling on all our partners to once again think thoroughly before taking this very dangerous step."
"Europe wants to send arms to these people? And what happens then to these arms? Who will control in whose hands and where they will end up? Maybe in Europe?"
He also rejected US and European assertions that Syria's regime had used chemical weapons.
"We do not have facts pointing to the use of such weapons by the Syrian government," Putin said.
"I assure you that, by far, not all G8 members believe that [chemical arms] were used by the Syrian army. Some agree with our opinion that there is no such data."
Despite coming under pressure from other G8 leaders to back away from Moscow's support for Syria's regime, Putin denied that he felt isolated at the summit.
"Of course, it is not so," he said. "It was a joint discussion. Not a single time did it happen that Russia was left alone in defending its approaches to the solution of the Syrian problem."