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Russia supports UN’s Annan in “last chance” of Syrian peace

Russia's outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks with United Nations, Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, during their meeting in Moscow, on...

Russia Syria

Russia's outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks with United Nations, Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, during their meeting in Moscow, on...

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan represented the last chance for avoiding a civil war in Syria.

“This may be the last chance for Syria to avoid a protracted and bloody civil war,” Medvedev told Annan at a meeting in Moscow before his departure for a nuclear security summit in Seoul on Sunday. “We will be offering you our full support at any level at which we have a say,” said Medvedev.

Russia has been facing mounting Western calls to step up pressure and stop delivering arms to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime after a year of violence that has at least claimed more than 8,000 lives.

Moscow on Wednesday backed a non-binding UN Security Council statement after vetoing two previous resolutions.

Annan said that he expected Russia to play a more “active” role in making sure that both Assad and the opposition fighters followed the Security Council initiative.

Medvedev is expected to discuss Syria with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, after Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced their decision to provide non-lethal aid for the Syrian opposition.

Annan is expected in China on Tuesday to shore up backing.

In Syria Sunday, another 30 died in the fighting, including at least 18 civilians, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said.