MOSCOW, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The escalation of violence in Syria was fueled by external forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
Speaking at a news conference, Lavrov lambasted the "outside forces" who were supporting opposition groups in Syria for fanning internal violence and confrontation.
The Syrian government, which bore the duty of ensuring its people's safety and rights, should not be the only one to blame, Lavrov said, adding the latest round of mass killings was the result of confrontation "which is being actively fueled by outside forces."
Lavrov told reporters Russia was alarmed by the reaction of some outside forces who were "openly providing support" to the armed groups and the opposition in Syria.
He also warned the country was on the verge of a civil war. "The situation is anxious. Syria has come closely to a full-scale civil war," he said.
Commenting on Russia's stance towards the Syria crisis, Lavrov reiterated Russia's call for an international conference did not mean a change of position. If some people took Russia's initiative as a signal of a change, then "they have misunderstood our position," he said.
Lavrov said Russia would not allow the United Nations Security Council to approve military intervention in Syria, which could lead to "the gravest consequences for the entire Middle Eastern region," he said.