What will Russian minister's visit to Syria achieve?
7 February 2012 Last updated at 05:31 GMT
Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov is to visit the Syrian capital, Damascus, for talks with President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia and China have been criticised by Britain and others for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution which called on the Syrian government to end the violence against its people.
Activists said more than 40 people died on Monday when government forces bombarded the city of Homs.
Alexander Nekrassov is a veteran Russian journalist based in London and an occasional advisor to Russian governments.
He explained what the key points were in respect to the veto.