Russia says 'Friends of Syria' undermine peace bid

MOSCOW - The "Friends of Syria" group of Western and Arab nations is undermining international envoy Kofi Annan's efforts to end the bloodshed in Syria, Russian news agencies quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Wednesday.
"Everyone has supported Kofi Annan's plan but decisions at the "Friends of Syria" group meeting aimed at arming the opposition and at news sanctions undermine peace efforts," state-run Itar-Tass quoted Lavrov as saying.
Western and Arab nations said after a "Friends of Syria" meeting on Sunday that the group would consider further "measures with a view to the protection of the Syrian people."
Russia has stayed away from meetings of the group, saying it is biased in favor of opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and is not advancing peace efforts.