Several Western states are proposing harsher sanctions against Syria. On May 29, newly elected French President François Hollande said that foreign military intervention in Syria "can't be ruled out," if it is approved by the Security Council, and indicated that he might ask Mr. Putin not to stand in the way. Speaking to an audience of students in Copenhagen today, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upped the criticism of Russia, saying, "I have been telling (the Russians) their policy is going to help contribute to a civil war" in Syria.
IN PICTURES: Conflict in Syria
But today Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, responded emphatically that Russian policy toward Syria will not change under duress. Russia's position is "well-known, balanced and consistent, and completely logical," Mr. Peskov told the independent Interfax news agency. "So it is hardly appropriate to talk about this position changing under someone’s pressure."