2 Jun 2012

Putin resists calls for sanctions on Syria

6:33 pm on 2 June 2012

Russian president Vladimir Putin has insisted a solution to the conflict in Syria can be achieved only through negotiation.

After talks with French President Francoise Hollande in Paris, Mr Putin cast doubt on the effectiveness of sanctions and suggested that pushing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power would fuel regional insecurity.

Mr Putin, an ally of Syria, called for more time to be given to the peace plan of envoy Kofi Annan.

The US and UK have called on Moscow to strengthen its condemnation of the Syrian regime since last week's massacre in Houla, where 108 died.

However, Mr Hollande told the same news conference there is only one way for security to come about in Syria.

He said President Bashar al-Assad had to go.