Russia said Tuesday that it is open to seeing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down from power if the terms of Kofi Annan's U.N.-backed ceasefire plan are not quickly met. However, Moscow is still against a foreign intervention in Syria, which is in the throes of a 15-month-long civil catastrophe.
We have never said or posed the condition that Assad must necessarily stay in power as the result of this political process, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, according to Reuters. This issue must be resolved by the Syrians themselves.
Gatilov added that a Yemen-style transition would not work in Syria because the opposition is unwilling to negotiate with the government. Additionally, Russia is not currently working with any other government on a Syrian peace plan, despite calls for cooperation from the United States.