Russia on Tuesday called the ceasefire in Syria “fragile” and urged countries to put more pressure on the armed opposition to cooperate with U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.
“The ceasefire really is relatively fragile,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow in televised remarks.
“There really are those who are interested in the failure of Kofi Annan’s plan and they actually mentioned that (opinion) even before this plan was made public,” Lavrov said without naming specific countries.
Russia has previously condemned some Arab states for agreeing to provide funding to the opposition Free Syrian Army.
“There are countries -- there are outside forces -- that are not interested in the success of current U.N. Security Council efforts,” Lavrov said.
Russia and China jointly blocked two U.N. Security Council resolutions on the 13-month crisis before backing on Saturday a decision to send observers to monitor the two sides’ cooperation with Annan’s six-point initiative.
Moscow backed the resolution after successfully insisting on including one Russian officer in the observers group.
But Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia would be “substantially” represented in the mission.
“The specifics of our participation in the observers mission are being worked on right now,” Interfax quoted Ryabkov as saying.
“Without a well-functioning observers mission working in the field, it is impossible to obtain a reliable and objective picture of what is happening.”
Russia has been the focus of some Syrian protesters’ outrage for previously refusing to condemn President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for violence that the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday had killed 11,117 people.
Moscow has in recent weeks been more critical of Assad in public and condemned him for failing to pursue some of Russia’s recommendations for ending the violence.
Russia on Monday also hosted members of the National Coordinating Committee for Democratic Change -- a splinter opposition group that was not invited to the latest Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul.
Its chairman Hassan Abdul Azim said on Tuesday that Assad had lost his authority and that talks with his regime were possible only under strict observance from foreign groups such as the Arab League and the European Union.
“The Syrian dialogue needs powerful and influential sponsors,” Interfax quoted Azim as saying in Moscow.
He called Annan’s peace plan Syria’s “last chance to put out the flames of fratricidal carnage.”
Azim’s group is a Syrian-based alliance comprised of socialists as well as Arab nationalist parties and Kurds.