Russia has suggested it is ready to back a UN statement supporting Kofi Annan’s mission to end the violence in Syria.
While two rounds of talks have so far failed to produce agreement, Moscow is said to be shifting its position.
Annan, who met Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby yesterday, is the UN and League’s envoy on Syria.
He has a six-point peace proposal which includes calls for a cease-fire, political dialogue and access for humanitarian agencies.
As government forces continue shelling Homs and other cities, the US campaign group Human Rights Watch has for the first time accused elements of Syria’s armed opposition of carrying out abuses and torture on regime supporters.
Meanwhile observers believe Russia is becoming impatient with Syria’s leadership. Backing a non-binding UN statement could be the first sign of a crack in Moscow’s support for its ally.