Russia's foreign minister has accused the West of taking an "immoral" stance on Syria by pressuring President Bashar al-Assad while refusing to condemn violence by what he called "armed extremist groups" trying to oust the Arab leader.
Sergei Lavrov also rebuffed calls on Moscow to back sanctions against
Syria, where a nine-month-long government crackdown on a popular uprising is
estimated to have killed more than 5,000 people.
He did, however, back the Arab League's push to send observers to the country, which some fear is on the verge of civil war.