World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia is not considering changing its stance on Syria and any attempts to apply pressure on Moscow are "hardly appropriate", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Wednesday.
"It would make sense to expect a continuation of the Russian Federation's consistent and well-argued line" on Syria during Putin's visit to Germany and France on Friday, Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
Putin will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in brief visits to Berlin and Paris, part of his first foreign trip since he returned to Russia's presidency for a six-year term on May 7.
Russia, which has blunted efforts to condemn President Bashar al-Assad and push him from power over 15 months of bloodshed, has been urged to stop supporting the government after a massacre Western nations blame on Assad's forces.
"Russia is a country with a consistent foreign policy and any pressure is hardly appropriate," Peskov said when asked whether Arab and Western countries were pressing Moscow to change its position.
"Nobody has unambiguous information" about the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla and Russia believes "one should not give in to emotions at such an important moment," he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said both the Syrian government and its opponents were to blame for the killings, and Moscow has called for an investigation under the aegis of the U.N. observer mission in Syria.
Russia says it supports envoy Kofi Annan's U.N.-backed peace plan, not Assad or his government, and that nations with influence over government opponents must use it more effectively to get them to abide by a ceasefire.
Speaking in France almost a year ago, Putin said Russia has no special relationship with Syria and did "not intend to give anybody cover" but emphasized Moscow's opposition to foreign interference in sovereign states.
People are upset about quality of water and electricity supply across the country
Iran's top nuclear negotiator says parliament does not have authority over the nuclear agreement
Cairo would announce its verdict on August 10 to allow for 'further deliberations'
Human cost of clashes in Iraq in July reaches at least 1,332 people, says UNAMI
Russian, US, Saudi officials will discuss peace moves in Syria, Yemen and Libya
Kurdish regional government denounces PKK and says PKK should leave Iraqi Kurdistan
17-year-old was shot by Israeli troops on Friday while protesting murder of Palestinian infant by Jewish extremists
Khaled Bahah is highest ranking official to return to the devastated city since government announced its liberation in mid-July
Pro-Assad daily Al-Akhbar reported that Ali Mamlouk had flown to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman
Ban Ki-moon says illegal settlement has given rise to violent extremism
Coalition forces supporting 'credible, reliable partners' in Daesh fight, says Gen. Killea
Sale will 'contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States' says State Deptartment
Many Egyptians remember Naguib for his role in the 'Free Officers' movement, which deposed King Faruq, the country's last king.
State of emergency extension was decided because Tunisia remained 'at war against terrorism'
EU calls for full accountability, effective law enforcement and zero tolerance for settler violence
Saudi Arabia has been a fervent supporter of the ousting of Egyptian President Morsi however the two countries have been at odds over a number of regional issues