Russian President Vladimir Putin called Friday for efforts to avoid any escalation of the conflict in Syria and denied Moscow was supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its opponents, dpa reported.
"Those who say we are biassed to one side are wrong," Putin told a news conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He said Moscow supported neither of the parties in the conflict.
"We should try to prevent an unfavourable scenario," he said, noting concerns that the conflict might turn into a full-scale civil war.
"We want every possibility to be used to prevent an escalation," he said.