President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia does not want "chaos" in Syria and that it looked forward to seeing a democratic regime in the war-torn nation.
"We will try to pursue the public order in Syria and look forward to a democratic regime in Syria because this country is close to our borders," he said at a news conference closing an EU-Russia summit, according to an English translation of his words. "We wouldn't like chaos in that country," he added. "Everyone is interested in stopping the violence and the bloodshed."
Putin for the second time in two days denied propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and appeared to acknowledge the possibility of change, saying: "We do not advocate the government of Syria."
He insisted however that a solution must be found between all parties at the negotiating table to take into account the views "of all the citizens."
In Moscow the previous day Putin said Russia was not concerned about Assad's fate but "we understand that the family has been in power for 40 years and there is a need for change."