Russian president’s special spokesman for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov declared on Friday that the Russian government intends to contact special UN-Arab League envoy to Syriain the near future.
“We are prepared to render Kofi Annan the most effective support in his new capacity,” the Russian diplomat emphasized, TASS news reported.
Meanwhile, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is not ready to step down, as there are no grounds for this, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the lower house of Russian Parliament (Duma), Alexei Pushkov, told a news conference on Friday.
"I met with Assad and I have not felt that he is ready to step down overnight," said Alexei Pushkov at a press conference in Moscow.
"There is a protest movement, but it is not enough to make the President feel that everything is collapsing under his feet and he is forced to resign," said Alexei Pushkov, who visited Syria from 19 to 22 February. According to the Russian parliament member, Bashar al-Assad believes he has substantial support in Damascus. "You can feel the tension, but we do not feel that the city is on the brink of civil war. Unfortunately, there are events with victims, but the shops are open and everything is open late (... ). Daily life seems normal," said Pushkov.
Furthermore, the international community held today the meeting of the "Friends of Syria" in Tunis, to request a "cease-fire" and humanitarian intervention. The conference is set to reaffirm the international support for the Arab League road map to end the Syrian crisis. Sixty countries, except Russia and China, attended the meeting. Moreover, the former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace prize winner Kofi Annan has been named the "Joint United Nations and Arab League envoy to the crisis in Syria ". His objective is to end the violence and violations of human rights perpetrated by the forces of the regime.
Separately, a source from the Russian special services has told ITAR-TASS news that western and other countries are turning a blind eye to weapons purchases by Free Syrian Army who are already smuggling light arms, communications equipment and night vision goggles to rebels inside Syria.
He said that large shipments of small arms and ammunition are delivered in Syria from Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey through private channels.
On the ground, In Homs, Syrian regime artillery fire killed five people in the city's Baba Amro district, opposition activists said, as the bombardment of opposition-held neighborhoods entered its third week on Friday.
Also on Friday, the Syrian Revolution Commission told Al Arabiya TV that 70 people have been killed by the fire of Syrian security forces across the country.