Annan to meet Lavrov amid Damascus fighting

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has signalled no change in his country`s position on the conflict on Syria.

Updated: Jul 16, 2012, 14:34 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Moscow: UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan will on Monday hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow amidst reports of continuous fight around the Syrian capital Damascus.

According to activists, opposition fighters are clashing with Syrian government forces in the capital Damascus for a second day.

The fighting in several neighbourhoods is reported to be among the heaviest since the uprising against President Bashar Assad`s regime began in March last year.

Earlier in the day, Lavrov signalled no change in Russia`s position on the conflict on Syria before talks in Moscow with Annan.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow`s opposition to a resolution being discussed by the UN Security Council on extending a monitoring mission in Syria which includes a threat of sanctions.

He told a news conference that such threats contained "elements of blackmail".

He also stated that it would be "unrealistic" for Russia to urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down

(With Agency inputs)