Russian President Vladimir Putin, front right, and Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy for the Syrian crisis, shake hands during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Kofi Annan has begun his meeting with Vladimir Putin, saying that Syria is at a crossroads as violence escalates. At right back is Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Vladimir Putin adamantly opposes any international military intervention, and has strongly supported envoy Kofi Annan's plan for ending the 16 months of fighting in which activists say some 17,000 people have died.
Annan's six-point plan was to begin with a cease-fire between government forces and rebels, followed by political dialogue, but increasingly intense fighting has called into question whether the plan is obsolete.
At the opening of the meeting in Moscow Tuesday, Putin promised Annan that Russia will do all it can to support him.
The ITAR-Tass news agency reported Annan as saying "the Syrian crisis is at a crossroads."