On Monday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned against military intervention in Syria and its foreign minister criticized an international conference in Tunisia last week focusing on the country, saying it had failed to help end the bloodshed.
Sergey Lavrov expressed regret that the "Friends of Syria" conference didn't "help create conditions that would encourage all Syrians to engage in political dialogue."
Russia criticized the conference's organizers for failing to invite representatives of the Syrian government and accused them of encouraging the Syrian opposition to reject talks.
"It's not realistic to demand that the government ends its action against militants and keep the militants free of any obligations whatsoever," Lavrov said.
Meanwhile, he hailed the Syrian regime's referendum on a new constitution Sunday as a "movement toward democracy" even as the U.S. and its allies dismissed it as a "farce."
Frank Jordans in Geneva contributed to this report. Don Melvin can be reached at http://twitter.com/Don_Melvin