Moscow: The head of Russia`s national security council on Thursday cast doubt on the scheduled date for the start of Syria peace talks next month because of slow progress in the run-up to the parley.
"We will not be able to hold the conference within the initially given time frame," Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
"Progress is slow," he added.
"A lot depends on the will and ability of the United States and a series of other countries to consolidate the (Syrian) opposition and to convince them to take part in this international forum."
Russia, one of the Syrian regime`s staunchest allies, insists that "all actors" in the nearly three-year civil war must join the talks, dubbed "Geneva 2", which are to open on January 22.