Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow's concern about Syria's conflict is growing but that Russia will continue to oppose the outside use of force.
"The situation in Syria is becoming more alarming," Lavrov told a news conference at which he pushed Russia's proposal for an international conference on the crisis.
"An impression is being created that Syria is on the verge of a full-scale civil conflict."
He said two recent attacks had put Russians in the capital Damascus in danger: a bus carrying Russian specialists that came under fire on Saturday and a Friday grenade attack on a building where Russians live.
There were no injuries, he said. Despite growing concerns that the situation may be spinning out of control, Russia as a member of the United Nations Security Council "will not sanction the use of force," he said.
Russia has blocked proposed U.N. resolutions to impose sanctions on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Lavrov said Russia's resistance to intervention in Syria is "not because we are protecting Assad and his regime, but because we know that Syria is a complicated multi-confessional state and because we know that some of those calling for military intervention want to ruin this and turn Syria into a battleground for domination in the Islamic world."