St Petersburg: In a bid to restore peace in Syria, EU officials are expected to enter into a dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday asking him to pressurise his ally President Bashar al-Assad to withdraw weapons from cities and restore normalcy.
The talks between EU officials and Putin are expected to take place during a summit here.
As part of the discussions, EU wants Russia to talk to Syria to ensure implementation of UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.
Russia and China reportedly are resisting US and EU calls to condemn President Assad.
On Sunday, Assad denied that his government had anything to do with gruesome Houla massacre, saying not even "monsters" would carry out such an ugly crime.
Assad, 46, denies that there is any popular will behind the uprising, saying foreign extremists and terrorists are driving the revolt.