Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that the Syrian leadership should leave power if it is "incapable" of implementing reforms.
The state-run RIA news agency quoted Medvedev as adding that this decision should be taken "by the Syrian people and the Syrian leadership."
According to UN estimates, at least 2,900 people have died in Syria since the uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad began in March.
Russia and China have vetoed a UN resolution threatening "targeted measures" against Damascus if the clampdown in Syria continued.
Medvedev warned that Russia would block future UN Security Council sanctions it thought were aimed at toppling governments on bad terms with Western powers.
Moscow and Beijing have said a resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians had been misused by NATO to bring down Muammar Qaddafi's regime in Libya.
Meanwhile, the United States today that Syria is now attacking opposition leaders. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added that "This is a clear escalation of [Syrian] regime tactics."
The remarks came as Syrian activists reported that a prominent Kurdish opposition leader was killed
compiled from agency reports