Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed the possibility of Russian combat troops being sent to Syria, which is in the thores of protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, in case of foreign intervention in the country.
Lavrov was answering questions from Russian lawmakers during a meeting at the Duma, the lower house of parliament.
"As for the question whether I consider it necessary to confront the US in Syria and ensure our military presence there... in order to take part in military actions -- no. I believe this would be against Russia's national interests," Lavrov said.
Syrian human rights groups have increasingly speculated about the possibility of foreign military intervention in Syria as al-Assad's violent crackdown on dissent has intensified.
Russia has strongly opposed such an option, insisting that the conflict should be resolved diplomatically.
Some Republican lawmakers in the US have urged President Barack Obama to send troops to Syria to stop the carnage or to help oust al-Assad.
Obama has ruled out a unilateral US military campaign to support the Syrian rebels, calling such an operation "much more complicated" than last year’s NATO-led military operation in Libya.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the Obama administration was consulting other nations and considering "an array of non-lethal assistance" for Syrian rebels.
However, it was unlikely that Washington would take "unilateral action right now", he said.
Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Russian parliament's upper house, said Wednesday a delegation would visit Syria next week for talks with representatives of both the al-Assad government and the opposition groups.