The Kremlin is evaluating whether to join the US, Britain and France in the air campaign against ISIL in Syria.
President Vladimir Putin said Russia was prepared to strike from the air, if approved by the UN, but ruled out troops on the ground.
At the UN both Putin and US President Obama bared their thoughts on Syria, highlighting major differences though some progress was made.
Speaking to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Putin said: “We do hope that we will be able to find common ground with our Arab partners, with Turkey, with the United States… with European countries, with a view to finding a common platform to fight terrorism.”
The key sticking point is the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia says he must be included, while the US and France are adamant he must go:
“The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict, but we must recognise that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo,” Obama said.
Many believe that if a solution to the Syrian conflict is to be found the West will have to work with Russia and oust Assad down the line.