Putin, Cameron discuss Syria by phone: Russian media

Putin, Cameron discuss Syria by phone: Russian media

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (ANTARA FOTO/REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Moscow (ANTARA News/AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed reports of chemical weapons use in Syria by telephone Monday, Russian news agencies said.

The conversation "focused mainly on the situation in Syria against the backdrop of media reports on the possible use of chemical weapons near Damascus," the Ria-Novosti agency said, quoting the Kremlin press office.

Western nations have upped the rhetoric since reports that chemical weapons were used in Syria last week and Britain has said there was evidence suggesting the regime was responsible.

Cameron already spoke with US President Barack Obama over the weekend to formulate a response to the escalation in the 29-month-old Syrian conflict.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said an international response was possible without the formal backing of the United Nations.

Russia, also a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly warned Washington and its allies against military action in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied using chemical weapons and warned Monday that any Western strikes against his regime would be doomed to failure.

Moscow, which has backed him throughout the crisis, urged Washington not to preempt the results of the UN inspection and warned that any military action would be a "tragic mistake".