ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Russia will help Syria in case of an external military attack, President Vladimir Putin said here on Friday.
Asked by a reporter during a press conference of the G20 summit whether Russia will help Syria if the Middle East country suffers from an outside attack, Putin said "We will help Syria."
Moscow has been fulfilling its arms contract with Damascus, Putin said, adding it will strengthen cooperation with Syria in humanitarian sector, supply humanitarian aid to civilians who were in grave conditions.
Prior to the summit, Putin noted that Russia supplies Damascus with arms, including components of S-300 air defense system, to Syria under previous contracts.
According to the Russian president, the allegation of chemical weapons use in Syria is provocation of militants hoping for external support.
It was a provocation by the opposition fighters "who expect assistance from the outside; I mean assistance from the countries that have supported them from the very beginning. This is the essence of this provocation," he added.
Putin reiterated that the use of force against a sovereign state is possible only for the purpose of self-defense or under a UN Security Council sanction.
Earlier in the day, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the G20 leaders on Thursday remained different during their working dinner over the settlement of the Syrian conflict, with an equal number of supporting and opposing urgent measures regardless of legitimate international authorization.
Putin said the half-half division over Syria was not correct, naming the United States, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia and France as countries backing military operation against Syria, while Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Italy opposed the possible action, he said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron had advocated a military solution in Syria but its parliament ruled out the option, Putin added.
"The German federal chancellor is also extremely cautious. Germany is not going to get involved into any military operations."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also opposed military actions against Syria without a UN mandate, Putin said.
U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking Congressional approval of a military strike against Syrian targets over the alleged use of chemical weapons by forces of President Bashar al-Assad.