The risk of a Russian veto was always there as four Western nations handed the UN Security Council a draft resolution condemning the Syrian crackdown.
Now Moscow, an old ally of Syria since Cold War times, has made its opposition clear claiming any such initiative could escalate unrest in the country.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said intervention from the Security Council could aggravate tensions.
“It could be misunderstood by destructive opposition forces in Syria who, as you know, declare they want regime change in Damascus,” Churkin told Russian state television.
As yet, there has been no vote on the draft proposed by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal.
The UN’s top human rights official has urged Syria to halt what she called its “assault on its own people.” Navi Pillay said more than 1,100 people may have been killed and up to 10,000 detained since March.