Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks with the United Nations and Arab League’s envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, during their meeting in Moscow on March 25, 2012. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says the special envoy to Syria for the United Nations and Arab League (AL), Kofi Annan, is Damascus’ last chance at avoiding civil war.

“This may be the last chance for Syria to avoid a protracted and bloody civil war,” Medvedev told Annan in a meeting held between the two in Moscow on Sunday. 

“We very much hope that your efforts have a positive outcome,” the Russian president said, adding that Moscow would provide ‘full support at any level’ for Annan’s mission. 

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including many security forces. 

Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. 

The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the government of killing protesters. 

The former UN secretary-general arrived in Moscow on Saturday to meet with both Medvedev and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the situation in Syria. 

In a statement issued on March 20, Lavrov said that Russia is “ready to support Kofi Annan’s mission and those proposals he conveyed to the Syrian side and to several opposition groups and also to the UN Security Council.” 

On March 11, Annan said he had “presented a set of concrete proposals” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during two rounds of talks in the Syrian capital Damascus. The former UN chief added the proposals “would have a real impact on the situation on the ground” in Syria. 

Also on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of an anti-Syria resolution, which had been proposed by the European Union, saying that the resolution viewed events one-sidedly and only blamed the Syrian government for the violence in the country. 

The council’s adoption of “this biased and unbalanced resolution contradicts the international community’s efforts to spread stability in Syria,” read a statement by the ministry. 

It asserted that the violence in Syria could not be stopped unless there was a ceasefire respected by all parties. It also said it was important that all political parties in the country become engaged in national dialogue without foreign meddling. 

Russia and China have vetoed two UN draft resolutions against Syria. 


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