Security Council must await inspectors' report before Syria action: Russia

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia said on Wednesday it was premature to mull any reaction by the United Nations Security Council before a UN team inspecting the site of an alleged chemical attack in Syria releases its findings.

"Discussing some sort of reaction by the Security Council before UN inspectors working in Syria publish their report is at the very least untimely," first deputy foreign minister Vladimir Titov told the Interfax news agency.

Titov added that Russia supported UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria pitting the government against the rebels.

The United States and its allies are building their case for likely military actions against the Damascus regime for alleged chemical weapons attacks despite vehement protests from Russia.

Earlier Wednesday, Ban called on a divided UN Security Council to unite.

"The Council must at last find the unity to act. It must use its authority for peace," the UN chief said in a speech at The Hague.

Russia, which has supported the Damascus regime throughout the two-and-a-half-year conflict, is widely expected to block any Security Council action aimed at punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.