Russia says Assad making mistakes
Moscow -Russia said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad was "making a lot of mistakes" despite repeated calls from Moscow for his troops and rebel forces to cease violence and seek dialogue.
"We believe that the Syrian leadership responded incorrectly to the very first manifestations of the peaceful protests," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Kommersant FM radio in a pre-recorded interview.
"The Syrian leadership - despite the numerous promises it has made in response to our calls - is making a lot of mistakes," said Lavrov.
"And the things that are actually moving in the right direction are coming too late," Lavrov added.
His comments came amid growing signs that Russia could drop its support for Assad after a year of violence that Syrian opposition activists say have claimed more than 9 100 lives.
Russia had earlier on Tuesday said it was ready to back either a UN Security Council statement or resolution on Syrian peace envoy Kofi Annan's proposal on ending the crisis as long as it contained no ultimatums.
Lavrov last week had also accused Assad of making errors and moving too slowly on reforms. But his latest comments suggest that Russia was unhappy with his leadership from the early stages of the bloody conflict.