MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Ministry accused on Wednesday the United States of steadily avoiding direct contacts with Moscow over developments around Syria.
"Commencing Saturday, August 31, the U.S. State Department repeatedly requested phone call with (Russian Foreign Minister) Sergei Lavrov. Although we have constantly confirmed it, the U.S. side every time informed us there was no possibility to get through to the Secretary of State," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.
He added that Russian attempts to set up an exact time for a phone conversation with John Kerry have also been left unanswered.
In a separate statement, the Foreign Ministry said U.S. intentions to carry out a military strike against Syria would contradict the core of international law.
"Response of the international community and separate states on chemical weapons use must fit the strict legal frames. Any reaction must be backed by the results of a thorough independent investigation," it said.
Moscow said if Damascus actually used chemical weapons, it could be qualified as violation of the international law.
Meanwhile, any potential military action against Syria without UN Security Council's sanction would "carry all attributes of aggression," the ministry said.
Earlier on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin also called the steps that Washington is considering now in relation to Syria "an aggression and absurd."
"They are sanctioning aggression because anything that is beyond the UN Security Council framework except self-defense is aggression," Putin told a meeting of the presidential Human Rights Council.
"What the U.S. Senate is doing now is in fact legitimizing aggression. What we should be talking about is that this is absurd in principle," Putin said.
Putin warns U.S. against unilateral military action on Syria
MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin has warned the United States against any military action on Syria without UN approval, saying it would be an aggression.
In an interview with the Channel 1 TV and posted on the Kremlin website on Wednesday, Putin reinforced his demand that the Obama administration needed approval from the UN Security Council before taking action. Full story
U.S. Senate revises Syria resolution to set time limit on military action, bar ground troops
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached an agreement Tuesday on a revised resolution on authorizing military action in Syria, setting a time limit and barring U.S. ground troops in the war-torn country.
The draft, agreed by the committee's chairman Robert Menendez and Republican ranking member Bob Corker, sets a time limit of 60 days on U.S. military action in Syria with the option for a single 30-day extension. Full story
UN chief warns against war rush on Syria, stressing probe needed
BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Tuesday that a rush of military action against Syria should be restrained as the UN investigation into Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons continues.
The samples taken from the site of an alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs will be in designated laboratories by Wednesday, and UN inspectors will do their best to speed up the analysis process, Ban said before heading for St. Petersburg, Russia, for a summit of Group of 20 (G20) slated for Thursday and Friday. Full story
Obama secures key backing on Syria, push for strike continues
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday secured the key backing of House leaders in his push for military action in Syria, as his administration continued to persuade the rest of Congress by sending Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to make the case in a Senate hearing.
Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday morning, promising the proposed strike against Syria will be "limited" and "proportional," and urged Congress for "a prompt vote" to authorize military action. Full story