Russia said on Thursday it would not back a Saudi-drafted resolution on Syria at the U.N. General Assembly, saying the document was unbalanced and would encourage rebels to keep fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The U.N. General Assembly was expected to vote on Thursday on the resolution drafted by Saudi Arabia, which is openly supporting the rebel forces seeking to oust Assad.
A Russian Foreign Ministry statement called the text "one-sided and unbalanced" and said Moscow would not support it in its current form.
The draft placed "full responsibility for what is happening in the country ... solely on the Syrian authorities" while leaving the opposition "outside the boundaries of the international community's demands", it said.
"In this way, it encourages (the opposition's) line of uncompromising armed fight against the Syrian government," the statement said.
Russia, which says both sides of the conflict must cease violence simultaneously, has shielded Assad's government from increased international pressure by vetoing three U.N. Security Council resolutions backed by Western and Arab states.