Prime Minister David Cameron visits Russia this week to hold talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin over the need for diplomatic progress to end the conflict in Syria.
It comes as the UK steps up efforts to end a European Union arms embargo to enable the supply of weapons to forces opposed to Bashar Assad's regime.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Russia was an "important player" in discussions about the conflict in Syria.
He added that Mr Cameron will be "pushing for a political solution" and stressing "the urgent need to start proper negotiations and to force a political transition to bring the conflict to an end".
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