PARIS - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday it was "counterproductive" to announce that the mission of UN/Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan had failed despite ongoing violence and he stuck to opposition to UN sanctions on Damascus.
"Mr. Annan is a very experienced and respectable person, and we must do everything for his mission to succeed. I think it is counterproductive to announce his mission as a failure in advance," Putin told a news conference with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.
"On sanctions, such question needs to be discussed primarily by the UN Security Council. Sanctions don't always work. The main thing we need to do is to prevent the situation from developing under the worst scenario and not let a civil war take place."