Brief Russia-West détente on Syria conflict comes to an end (+video)
Russia rejected an invitation to Paris to discuss next steps for Syria, saying that world leaders seemed more intent on helping the rebels than on brokering peace.
Russia today categorically refused to join about a dozen Western and Arab foreign ministers gathering in Paris to discuss ways to pressure Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to abide by the terms of the United Nations peace plan, alleging that the meeting's intent was "counterproductive."
Moscow's self-exclusion from the latest "Friends of Syria" conference – which will include top policymakers from the US, Germany, France, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other countries – suggests that the recent reconciliation between Russia and the West over how to approach the Syrian crisis may be short-lived.
In fact, though both Russia and the West say they support the plan crafted by UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, each appears to have a dramatically different interpretation of what results should flow from its implementation.