Russia on Tuesday warned a military intervention in Syria could have "catastrophic consequences" for the region and called on the international community to show "prudence" over the crisis.
"Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa," a foreign ministry spokesman said.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is known for his sharp tongue, said on Twitter that "the West behaves towards the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade."
Earlier Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Moscow regretted Monday's decision by the US to postpone a meeting on the Syria crisis, as Western powers mulled military action over last week's chemical attack in Syria.
The scrapping of the meeting, which was due to take place at The Hague later in the week, is the latest sign of a new peak in tensions between Moscow and the West over the possibility of military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"It arouses regret that our partners decided to cancel the bilateral meeting," Gatilov said on Twitter. "Working out the parameters of a political solution in Syria would have been especially helpful right now, when military action is hanging over this country," Gatilov said.
In such a climate, it was especially important to work in concert to try to organise the repeatedly postponed peace conference bringing together the Damascus regime and the rebels, Lukashevich said.
Western countries including the United States are considering their response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad's regime on August 21.
On Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the "hysteria" over the claimed chemical attack and said the West had yet to come up with proof that Assad's regime was behind it. He also said Russia would not get involved in a military conflict in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told British Prime Minister David Cameron in a telephone call on Monday there was no evidence yet that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against rebels, Cameron's office said.
- India Violet Updated at: Wednesday, September 04, 2013